Book Review: Talking About The Elephant
To some people, especially those in the (neo)pagan communities, bringing up the topic of cultural appropriation is either tantamount to beating the proverbial dead horse, or will be stated as a topic not brought up enough.
This book is different, however. It doesn’t present extreme arguments in black-and-white, but rather addresses the many different grey areas that occur, and brings up some important questions and aspects not often discussed, such as cultural appropriation of the occult/pagan communities by academia, and the other many different aspects that this sort of thing can take. For example, the issue of syncretism within a tradition, and the need for growth without fear of being labeled as not being “true” to said path or tradition, or the idea of “authenticity” when seeking teachers, gurus or experiences. I also liked how well some of the authors cited their sources, and offered books for the interested reader to pursue on their own.
If you have strong feelings about cultural appropriation, or want to get a better idea about different sides of the argument without sifting through debates, flame wars and other such crap, then it’s probably worth picking up this book.
Five chew marks out of five.