|Background Info - Info|
Born in 1974, in Guelph Ontario Canada.
Raised in Elora, Ontario, a village north of Guelph which I still consider my hometown.
My first published work was a play entitled "Visions of a Better Way": this script won a competition for high school students, run by University of Guelph's department of English.
Attended the University of Guelph for undergraduate studies in Drama, starting in January of 1992.
Attended Memorial University of Newfoundland, to study folklore, 1994.
Began Masters studies at Guelph in philosophy, 1998. My thesis, "Animism, Spirit, and Environmental Activism", was completed two years later.
Became president of a labour union (CUPE local 3913) for two years.
Began doctoral studies in philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 2001. Frequently visted other European countries as well, especially England and Germany.
Completed doctoral studies in 2005. My dissertation was entitled "Time and the Land: Four Approaches to Environmental Ethics, Climate Change, and Future Generations."
Returned to Canada in late 2005, and taught philosophy at several universities and colleges in Ontario and Quebec. In 2007, I worked as a contract researcher for the federal government, in which I studied Aboriginal people's values in relation to police work and peacekeeping.
Winner of the Mount Haemus Award for research in Druidry, 2008, which is awardedby OBOD in association with Salisbury Cathedral, England.
Currently living in Gatineau, Quebec, and serving as a professor of philosophy and humanities at CEGEP Heritage College. As far as he is aware, Brendan is the only openly-pagan philosophy professor in the world.
How to Contact Brendan
Email Brendan at bmyers33 (at) live.ca.
A Few Media Appearances
Pagan Existentialism: an interview with Star Foster on Patheos.com, July 2011
The Call of the Immensity: an interview with B.T. Newberg on Humanistic Paganism. January 2012
Interview with Jason Pitzl-Waters, on The Wild Hunt blog
An interview with Paul Western-Pittard concerning my fiction works.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
The ancient Druids were (among other things) the philosophers of their time and place and people. Of course, I live in "modern" times and I'm not suggesting that people should just give up modernity and adopt an Iron-age way of life. Some elements of ancient Celtic culture (like the blood feud, head-hunting, etc.) clearly have no place in the modern world. My work is not meant to merely defend and promote whatever the ancient Celts happened to have believed. It's not about historical reconstruction: it's about mythology and it's about ideas.
For that purpose, I find it useful and enlightening to look to mythology and the history of ideas, in order to illuminate the present and to plan the future. One could choose almost any culture's mythology for inspiration, if enough is known about it; but I happen to admire the Celtic traditions because they are "my" traditions. Having been born in a Celtic family, they are "familiar" to me. Thus one could say that as a philosopher, I do for my people what the ancient Druids did for theirs. (Of course, I have other interests too, and in my work you will find discussions of Scandinavian, Germanic, Greek, Hindi, Chinese, and Aboriginal ideas too).
Words like "worship", "faith", "devotion" or even "belief" really don't describe my spiritual life very accurately. I am a "spiritually druidic humanist", if there is such a thing.
But once in a while, some enterprising young evangelical writes to me to tell me about where he thinks my soul will end up after death, unless I conform my ideas to exactly resemble his. Leaving aside the astonishing presumption of such comments, I shall say this: you should read more history. The spread of monotheism has less to do with its inherent rational appeal, and less to do with God, and more to do with the success of the army. Had Emperor Constantine's wars been lost, we would all be praying very differently.
Yes, of course. The standard means of citing a web page is to indicate the author, title of page, web address (URL), and the date you accessed it. Of course, you would be better off to go directly to the primary sources.
Naturally, I recommend my own books. But I also recommend that those who are interested in learning more about Celtic and Druidic spirituality should read mythology, especially books like Lady Augusta Gregory's Gods and Fighting Men and Cuchullain of Muirthemney. Next I would recommend The Mabinogion, and The Carmina Gadelica, and a history text or two, such as Moody & Martin's The Course of Irish History. For help understanding the nature and meaning of mythology, I'd recommend the works of Mircea Eliade, James Frazer, and Joseph Campbell.
Among modern pagan writers I would recommend the work of Emma Restall Orr, Philip Carr-Gomm, Isaac Bonewits, Erynn Laurie, and John Michael Greer. I have met all of those authors personally, so I can attest to the seriousness, sincerity, and good-humoured character of their purposes.
But before buying a new stack of books to read, I recommend that you spend a day or two walking in a forest. You can learn a great deal from trees...
Books about religion are also books about society, humanity, spirituality, peace, war, adventure, death, tragedy, comedy, history, love, sex, growing up, growing old, happiness, suffering, thought, work, dreams, politics, imagination, mystery, psychology, music, art, poetry, health, time, reality, ethics, truth, magic, and life.
I am not the inheritor of a received oral tradition or family lineage of ancient and authientic Druidism. The historian in me strongly doubts that such a tradition exists anywhere at all.
But I do a lot of the same things that ancient Druids did: teach philosophy, write philosophy, write poetry, attend Celtic community events, play Celtic music, wear long hair, oppose the current incarnation of the Roman Empire (that's globalized capitalism)...
Well, what do you think?
If I'm available, then Yes. I have several workshops aready prepared, as I used to do this fairly frequently. I normally ask to have my accomodation and transportation costs covered, and of course I will want to be able to sell copies of my books at these events. Contact me directly for more information.
That's not what I do. And please don't ask me to refer you to someone who could do these things.
Is this a trick question?
Have you found The Great Goddess?
I don't know. The world is just funny that way.
Normally I do not grant permission to re-post my stuff elsewhere on the web. This web site is already accessible to thet whole world, and repetition is unnecessary. Also, since I am pursuing a career as an author, there are certain copyright issues which arise. I prefer to be able to work on my own stuff without tracking down multiple mirror-sites elsewhere on the web. But feel free to download anything for personal use, so long as you do not distribute it to others. But some of my stuff is published under a Creative Commons license, and you are welcome to use those pieces.
This question doesn't get asked very often, and I'm thrilled when someone does. However, since I live in Ontario, and since one of my the publishers is in America, and the other in Britain, and most potential buyers are also in America, an autographed copy of the book would have to cross the border twice before reaching you. If not the ocean as well. I would have to pass on this cost in the price of the book, and even if I did not include a profit markup for myself, the price could easily reach as much as $40 US dollars. You are better off buying a copy online or directly from the publisher. Your copy will reach you a lot faster and at much less cost.
I don't make enough money on book sales to pay the rent, let alone live as lavishly as people believe Pagan authors do. I know a few other Pagan authors and leaders who have to scrape to survive, even with 30 years of leadership experience under their belt and a dozen books to their name on the market. The Pagan community just isn't ready or willing to support its leaders, perhaps because of a fear that community-supported leaders will inevitably become corrupt, or a belief that one must be poor to be virtuous. Both beliefs are false, but widespread, and perhaps that there is little that good-willed folk can do about it except ignore it as much as possible and get organised to take care of each other. (Oh yes, and buy the better books, so that pagan leaders and creators don't have to scrape to survive!
You should probably pose this question to a representative of one or other public Druid order or organization, of which there are many. Members of ADF, the British Druid Order, Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, Henge of Keltria, or IMBAS, should not be hard to find using any search engine or directory.