Studies in Comparative Religion
The First English Journal on Traditional Studies - established 1963
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Ananda Coomaraswamy relates a variety of myths concerning Khwaja Khadir in both Indian and Persian stories which he traces back to the more ancient traditions from the Koran; the Elijah, Alexander, St. George and Gilgamesh legend; and to Sumeria and the Rig Vedas. “Khizr [i.e. Khadir] is at home in both worlds, the dark and the light, but above all master of the flowing River of Life in the Land of Darkness: he is at once the guardian and genius of vegetation and of the Water of Life, and corresponds to Soma and Gandharva in Vedic mythology, and in many respects to Varuna himself.”
Khawaja Khadir and the Fountain of LifeCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 4, No. 4. ( Autumn, 1970) Islam
Patrick Bowen recounts his time traveling in “the wild Bushlands of the Northern Transvaal, Portuguese East Africa and Mashonaland” where he spent his time learning of the religious practices of the Isanusi (“a term, popularly but improperly interpreted as "Witch Doctor."”) Bowen describes the various holy men he encountered and the teachings they imparted.
The Ancient Wisdom in AfricaBowen, Patrick Vol. 3, No. 2. ( Spring, 1969) Primordial
Martin Lings discusses the symbolism of several Lithuanian songs passed down through oral tradition. Though part of the “Lithuanian folklore” tradition, these songs contain symbolism from diverse spiritual, cultural, and religious traditions. He addresses the misconception that folklore in general is “popular” in origin, emphasizing that a great deal of folklore is derived from preserved relics of former traditions. The selected Lithuanian songs are used to illustrate his points about the diverse origins of folklore traditions and the “subconscious collective memory” that often informs them.
Old Lithuanian SongsLings, Martin Vol. 3, No. 1. ( Winter, 1969) Misc
René Guénon discusses the symbolism of the fish and its centrality to the beginnings of several religions. A symbol of northern origins, its presence having been noted in North Germany and Scandinavia, the fish soon made its way to Central Asia and was directly related to the starting point of the Primordial Tradition. Guénon first focuses on its symbolism in the Hindu and Christian traditions as representative of a preserver or savior figure. He then presents the symbolism of the fish as a common thread among multiple traditions, including those of the Greeks and Chaldaeans.
Some Aspects of The Symbolism of The FishGuénon, René Vol. 3, No. 1. ( Winter, 1969) Comparative Religion
This article by Usha Chatterji provides an excellent overall account of the cult of the Goddess, or the Great Goddess. The term Shakti literally means “power”; thus, according to Chatterji, the cult of the Goddess focuses on the image of God as feminine, or God as a productive and nourishing force. The various forms of the Great Goddess, or individual goddesses are also discussed in this article. The reader is also provided with a clear account of the historical development of the Great Goddess and the role She plays in Hindu worship.
Shakta and ShaktiChatterji, Usha Vol. 2, No. 4. ( Autumn, 1968) Hinduism
The subject of Hermeticism is the main topic of Guenon’s article, here he outlines hermeticism as naturally deriving from Hermes who represents a kind of “human alchemy”. Guenon continues in his examination of Hermes by naming several shared symbolisms with other figures. The symbolism of Hermes shares many parallels with, for example, Budha in India, which simply means wisdom. Likewise the figure of Thoth in Egypt also shares a resemblance to Hermes because he represents wisdom as well. Other parallels that Guenon discusses are the connection between Hermes to Scandinavian Odin and the prophet Idris in Islam. By finding the shared symbolism of Hermes to other religious or cultural figures, Guenon demonstrates that the ultimate aim of this figure is to return humans to their “primordial state”.
HermesGuénon, René Vol. 1, No. 2. ( Spring, 1967) Comparative Religion
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