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Carl Ruck is best known for his work along with other scholars in mythology and religion on the sacred role of entheogens, or psychoactive plants that induce an altered state of consciousness, as used in religious or shamanistic rituals. His focus has been on the use of entheogens in classical western culture, as well as their historical influence on modern western religions. He currently teaches a mythology class at Boston University that presents this theory in depth.
The book The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, co-authored by Ruck with Albert Hofmann and R. Gordon Wasson, makes a case that the psycho-active ingredient in the secret kykeion potion used in the Eleusinian mysteries was most likely the ergotism causing fungus Claviceps purpurea. Furthermore the book introduced for the first time the term "entheogen" as an alternative for terms such as "psychedelic", "hallucinogen" and "drug" that can be misleading in certain contexts.
The List of Victors in Comedy at the Dionysia (1967)
^The Guardian The Guardian 6 Jan 2003 6 January 2003 "There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion," Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University said. Referring to the existence of cannabis in anointing oils used in ceremonies, he added: "Obviously the easy availability and long-established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism _ would inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures."