Hugh Nibley gave a series of talks about sophic and mantic in society: the sophic offers the shallow, deceitful cleverness of PR and spin, which often leads to success in this world while the mantic (from Greek mantis, “seer”) looks to the eternal vision of things. My new book, Victim of the Muses (see WWW.HUP.HARVARD.EDU/CATALOG/COMVIC.HTML), looks at the origins of poetics in western civilization in this perspective. The poet as prophet, Marsyas, Aesop, or Socrates, grotesquely ugly and a warrior with words, was often offensive to sophic society and became the pharmakos, or scapegoat, killed or cast out by political leaders. How do these ancient views of the poet/prophet compare to contemporary LDS understandings and prophetic iconography?
Todd M. Compton