From Mesopotamia to Abraham to the “Great Spirit” of Native American lore, from Pagan beliefs to Jainism and shared doctrines of reincarnation and rebirth, Retaliation of the Cursed finds common ground across time and cultures, linking the gods of Mount Olympus to Hindu deities on mountaintops and examining the role of the zodiac and constellations in belief throughout history. Presenting this history in clear, approachable chapters, Martin finds believers in revolt (Siddhārtha Gautama, Mahavira, Confucius, Lao-Tse ) against the “corruption and greed” that distanced believers from “knowledge of true worship.”
Martin’s approach finds him vaulting across centuries and cultures, drawing on religious texts, literature, archeology, and other disciplines, picking apart beliefs present and past. At times the text is speculative, but invitingly so—his excitement at the material and the possibilities is infectious, even as he decries the “corruption” of that original universal faith. His surges of thought can at times can be a challenge to keep up with, and he occasionally leaps too quickly from one idea to the next. Still, his conclusion, in which he calls for a classic leap of faith, follows naturally from the investigation that precedes it.
Takeaway: An impassioned treatise arguing that an ancient universal belief system ties together disparate religious beliefs.
Great for fans of: Huston Smith’s Forgotten Truth: The Common Vision of the World's Religions, E.J. Michael Witzel’s The Origins of the World’s Mythologies.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A