Monday, January 12, 2009

The Reviews Are In!

One of the folks over at paganbookreviews.com was kind enough to review the first issue of Thorn magazine, in which I had an article published. Specifically, about my piece, they say:

Thralldom in Theodish Belief by Joseph Bloch: I'll admit that I'm no expert on heathenry, and I know less about Theodism than other sorts, such as Asatru. However, I was utterly fascinated by this approach to a neotribal membership process that draws on the concept of a newcomer to a culture being a thrall, a "nobody", who then must earn their place in society, through working within some very specific parameters. It's a wonderfully thorough way to weed out potentially problematic applicants and to show who's really dedicated to being a part of the tribe. I admit that I couldn't help but be reminded, to an extent, of the spirit of the Master/slave relationship in BDSM–while the Theodish thralldom is in no way sexual, the general concept of a willing sacrifice of one's power for a particular goal/purpose seems to be a commonality.
I'm a bit taken aback by the BDSM correlation, as I've never thought of it in those terms, but I'd say that was a pretty positive review. I can't wait for my next article to see print.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I think the Theodish idea of the thrall as apprentice in the "apprentice, journeyman, master" structure is a creative one. Now if only the ancient thrall-system had been so creative! Perhaps it began that way? Unfortunately it degenerated into something very ugly, a stain and shame upon the Northern folk to be sure. It's difficult to argue with the shame when one realizes that thralls, instead of being one-generation beginners or criminals, became multi-generational lineages, which is really inexcusable. It could take seven generations after manumission for a family to come up to full free status. What's up with that?

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