Carl A.P. Ruck

Professor of Classical Studies

1965 Ph.D. Harvard University (Classical Philology)
1959 M.A. University of Michigan (Classical Philology
1955 B.A. Yale University (Pre-medical, psychology, Classical Philology)

  • STH405; Hours (Spring 2014): Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 12:00-1:30, and by appointment
  • 617-353-4435;Fax: 617-353-1610

Curriculum Vitae

Carl A.P. Ruck is an authority on the ecstatic rituals of the god Dionysus. With theethno-mycologist R. Gordon Wasson and Albert Hofmann, he identified the secret psychoactive ingredient in the visionary potion that was drunk by the initiates at the Eleusinian Mystery. In Persephone’s Quest:Entheogens and the Origins of Religion, he proclaimed the centrality of psychoactive sacraments at the very beginnings of religion, employing the neologism“entheogen” to free the topic from the pejorative connotations for words like drug or hallucinogen.

Check out Prof. Ruck’s latest project: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cgiwjbne3bj7c24/CarlRuck.mp4

Research Interests

Greek drama, Dionysian festivals and rituals, ancient Mystery religions, Orphism, Zoroaster, Mithraism, ancient Christian heretical sects, the role of entheogens in the evolution of human consciousness and religions, Mythology, secret sacraments in medieval and Renaissance art, ancient and medieval eschatology, fairy-tales and European folklore, secret societies and craft guilds, prehistoric rock art, Greek epigraphy, structural linguistics, Latin and Greek grammar, Mesoamerican shamanism.

Selected Publications

Ruck_EntheogensEntheogens, Myth, and Human Consciousness (with Mark A. Hoffman) (Berkley, CA: Ronin Publishing, 2013).

“The Great God Sabazios and the Crab Dance in Athens”: 193-220, in The Stone Mushrooms of Thrace (bilingual edition, English and Greek), (Alexandroupli, Thrace-Greece: EKATAIOS, 2012).

 

“Democracy and the Dionysian Agenda”: 45 pages, chapter nine, in John A. Rush (ed.), Entheogens and the Development of Culture: The Anthropology and Neurobiology of Ecstatic Experience (Berkeley, CA: Atlantic Books, 2013).

“Virgil’s Edible Tables”: 65 pages, chapter 10 (with Robert Larner), in John A. Rush (ed.), Entheogens and the Development of Culture: The Anthropology and Neurobiology of Ecstatic Experience (Berkeley, CA: Atlantic Books, 2013).