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InThe Mushroom in Christian Art, author John A. Rush uses an artistic motif to define the nature of Christian art, establish the identity of Jesus, and expose the motive for his murder. Covering Christian art from 200 CE (common era) to the present, the author reveals that Jesus, the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, is a personification of the Holy Mushroom,Amanita muscaria.The mushroom, Rush argues, symbolizes numerous mind-altering substances-psychoactive mushrooms, cannabis, henbane, and mandrake-used by the early, more experimentally minded Christian sects. Drawing on primary historical sources, Rush traces the history-and face-of Jesus as being constructed and codified only after 325 CE. The author relates Jesusrs"s life to a mushroom typology, discovering its presence, disguised, in early Christian art. In the process, he reveals the ritual nature of the original Christian cults, rites, and rituals, including mushroom use. The book authoritatively uncovers Jesusrs"s message of peace, love, and spiritual growth and proposes his murder as a conspiracy by powerful reactionary forces who would replace that message with the oppressive religious-political system that endures to this day. Rushrs"s use of the mushroom motif as a springboard for challenging mainstream views of Western religious history is both provocative and persuasive.
John A. Rush, PhD, ND, is a professor of anthropology at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. His research has ranged from religious symbolism in Europe to monuments and Mayan astronomy in Central America. He is also the author of Failed God, Spiritual Tattoo, and The Twelve Gates.