As the interview reveals, earlier this year, Ms Tully came all the way over to Europe to undertake some research on the archaeological evidence for pre-Christian tree cults in the Aegean for her PhD. First spending some time in Greece, where the interview took place, she then popped over to London to do some work in the British Museum and a few other institutions in this country. It was then that we met up for the afternoon, having a delightful time touring the coffee houses and occult bookstores of Central London. She really is a delight, and I hope that we have the chance to catch up again, despite the great distance between Great Britain and its far off Australasian colony.
|Caroline Tully, Australian Pagan and archaeologist.|
Image (C) Craig Sillitoe, 2005.
Normally I would try to ignore the rants of these self-important bloggers who hide behind pseudonyms while posting offensive and erroneous comments about those hard working academics who do such an important job in studying these fascinating new religious movements, but in this instance I really was moved to speak out. Ms Tully is a wonderful person who both loves the world of Paganism and who aims to explain the rigour of academic scholarship to a wider Pagan audience, and she doesn't deserve the treatment that this faceless figure has meted out to her, hiding as they are behind their shield of anonymity. They are of course entitled to make critical comments of her recent opinion-piece in The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, entitled "Researching the Past is a Foreign Country: Cognitive Dissonance as a Response by Practitioner Pagans to Academic Research on the History of Pagan Religions," just as I would welcome Pagans to make critical comments on any of my published papers or reviews, but there is a stark difference between supplying constructive criticisms which ultimately enhance the world of scholarship (as academic reviews *should* do), and outright attacks on the work's authors themselves (which I'd expect from the tracts of poorly educated ideological extremists). As anyone acquainted with the Egregores blog will be aware, its author is clearly well read and well versed in archaeology -- this is no "poorly educated ideological extremist" -- but the behaviour exhibited in this particular post is thoroughly inappropriate and presents both misleading and downright erroneous claims about Pagan Studies and Ms Tully. In light of Apuleius' recent statements, I can only stress an old motto that my grandmother always used to say to me; "if you don't have anything nice to say about somebody, don't say anything at all."