Saturday, May 19, 2007
Occultism exists at the interface between the Pagan revival and Christianity, and is occasionally relevant to the theme of queer spirituality, since the Pagan revival had its roots in occult traditions and radical counter-cultures of the nineteenth century (Hutton, 1999: 72), and some prominent gay men were involved in occultism (Owen, 2004: 215) and Paganism (Hutton, 1999: 50), and some moved between traditions. Edward Carpenter had been ordained as an Anglican priest in order to take up an Oxford fellowship before turning to Paganism and socialism (Taylor, 1998); Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson wrote books advocating a return to Paganism (Hutton, 1999: 29). Oscar Wilde and some of his family were involved in the Theosophical Movement -- though sadly the movement did not support him after his arrest, trial and conviction (Owen, 2004: 112). Wilde was received into the Catholic church on his deathbed (Holland, 1985 : 14), and spent a lot of time in Reading prison reading the New Testament in Greek (Wilde, 1996 : 63).