Brendan Myers

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Brendan Myers
Born (1974-07-04) 4 July 1974 (age 40)
Elora, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Author, lecturer

Brendan Cathbad Myers is a philosopher and author known for his contributions in environmental philosophy, Druidry and Neo-Druidism, mythology, and applied virtue ethics.[1]

Philosophy and writings[edit]

Normative in their conception, Myers’ works fundamentally examine ideas regarding the interconnectedness of creation and emphasize the importance of strong moral character as vital to the health and well-being of the world and society. Myers criticizes utilitarian views, especially "negative" utilitarianism, which holds that ethics require nothing more than the minimization of harm, and of deontological views, which emphasize social duties and adhering to social norms, i.e. rules. As an alternative to utilitarianism and deontology, Myers explores the ethics of character and identity, self-knowledge and shared life.

"My question was whether the environment is ethically significant, and what that must ultimately mean for the choices we make individually, politically and collectively. I wanted to know whether there is a 'right' way of living in and with the natural world. "I invented a way to think about our ethical responsibilities to future generations – in which an act that harms no one or infringes no one's rights is still considered to be morally wrong."

"The morally correct way to treat the environment is to shape it into the kind of world in which we may flourish best as human beings."

"Rather, I think we should involve ourselves in the world, shaping it and making use of its natural processes as a gardener might do, in order to make the whole landscape of the Earth into a garden fit to be the dwelling place of a peaceful and fully flourishing human community."

"It cannot be for lack of scientific or technical know-how that pollution and resource depletion continues to ruin our landscapes and make life hard for millions of people. If we want to change the world for the better, all we need do is muster the political will." P 14 March/April 2006 issue 29 SEPAView The Magazine of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Biographical information[edit]

Born in 1974, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Brendan was raised in Elora Ontario, a small village north of Guelph in Wellington County, Ontario. He was born the eldest son of an Irish-Canadian family and completed a bachelor’s degree in drama and philosophy in 1996 and then a master's degree in philosophy in 1999, both from the University of Guelph. While at university, he became more involved in ethics and environmentalism and he converted from Catholicism to paganism, becoming an activist member of the neo-pagan community. Myers continued his academic career in Ireland, and eventually completed a doctoral dissertation entitled "Time and the Land" at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Professional life[edit]

His first published work was a play entitled Visions of a Better Way, which won a competition for high school students run by University of Guelph's department of English.

Myers attended the University of Guelph for undergraduate studies in drama, starting in January 1992

He further attended Memorial University of Newfoundland, reading folklore there in 1994.

Myers then began his master's studies at Guelph in 1998, majoring in philosophy. In 2000, he published a dissertation titled "Animism, Spirit, and Environmental Activism", and was matriculated.

For the two years following, he served as president of a labour union (CUPE local.)

Myers began doctoral studies in philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2001, touring the European continent, especially England and Germany.

He completed doctoral studies in 2005 with a dissertation entitled "Time and the Land: Four Approaches to Environmental Ethics, Climate Change, and Future Generations".

Pagan activism[edit]

Myers Returned to Canada in late 2005, and taught philosophy at several universities and colleges in Ontario and Quebec. In 2007, he worked as a contract researcher for the Government of Canada studying Aboriginal values and ethics, morals and logic in relation to police work and peacekeeping and consensus government.

In 2008 he was awarded the Mount Haemus Award for research in Druidry, from the OBOD in association with Salisbury Cathedral.

Myers currently lives in Gatineau, Quebec, where he is professor of philosophy and humanities at CEGEP Heritage College. He claims to be the only openly-pagan philosophy professor in the world.

Academic influence[edit]

Myers' works have been quoted in the published works of numerous neopagan writers, including Emma Restall-Orr (in "Living with Honour"), Philip Carr-Gomm (in "What do Druids Believe?"), Graeme Talboys (in "The Way of the Druid"), Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone (in "Progressive Witchcraft"), and Isaac Bonewits (in "Bonewits Essential Guide to Druidism"). His work also appears on pages 185 to 191 of "Out of the Broom Closet" edited by Arin Murphy-Hiscock.

Published works[edit]

Non-fiction[edit]

  • Dangerous Religion: Environmental Spirituality And Its Activist Dimension (2004), Dubsar House/Earth Religion Press: El Sobrante, CA, USA. ISBN 1-59405-511-4.
  • The Mysteries of Druidry: Celtic Mysticism, Theory, and Practice (2006), New Page Books: Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA. ISBN 1-56414-878-5.
  • The Other Side of Virtue: Where Our Virtues Really Came from, What They Really Mean, and Where They Might Be Taking Us (2008), O Books: Ropley, Hampshire, UK. ISBN 978-1-84694-115-3.
  • A Pagan Testament: The Literary Heritage of the World's Oldest New Religion, (2008), O Books, Ropley, Hampshire, UK. ISBN 1-84694-129-6.
  • Loneliness and Revelation: A Study of the Sacred Part One, (2010), O Books, Ropley, Hampshire, UK. ISBN 978-1-84694-355-3.
  • "Circles of Meaning, Labyrinths of Fear: The 22 Relationships of a Spiritual Life and Culture ~ And Why They Need Protection." . (2012), Moon Books, ISBN 978-1-84694-745-2
  • "Clear and Present Thinking: A Handbook in Logic and Rationality" (2013)

Fiction[edit]

  • "Fellwater" (2012),
  • "Hallowstone" (2012)

Game[edit]

  • "Iron Age - Council of the Clans: A strategy game of power, honour, and democracy", (2012)

Accolades from other artists and activists[edit]

"Brendan Myers is smarter than me." - Isaac Bonewits, at the "Fire in the Hearth" conference, Ottawa, July 2009.

"While Myers' ideas may not resonate with everyone, he should be commended for being at the forefront of an effort to write better Pagan books. He, along with some other authors of note, are writing those "advanced" books we all keep saying we want." - Jason Pitzl-Waters, author of The Wild Hunt Blog (on 30 November 2008), the most read pagan blog on the Internet.

"Myers’ analysis confronts our very raison d’être against our uncertain times. He asks the questions that most prefer not to ask." - Michael York, Professor of Theology, Bath Spa University.

"Our guest [Brendan Myers] is a man of letters, a man for the people, a man who respects Mother Earth, and all her children. In my mind he is the perfect role model and a true purveyor of ancient teaching with passion and integrity." - Yvonne Boyer, hostess of God Box Cafe podcast, in Episode 80 (6 November 2009).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]