Understanding Greek religion : a cognitive approach


Understanding Greek religion : a cognitive approach

Jennifer Larson

(Understanding the ancient world)

Routledge, 2016

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



Understanding Greek Religion is one of the first attempts to fully examine any religion from a cognitivist perspective, applying methods and findings from the cognitive science of religion to the ancient Greek world. In this book, Jennifer Larson shows that many of the fundamentals of Greek religion, such as anthropomorphic gods, divinatory procedures, purity beliefs, reciprocity, and sympathetic magic arise naturally as by-products of normal human cognition. Drawing on evidence from across the ancient Greek world, Larson provides detailed coverage of Greek theology and local pantheons, rituals including processions, animal sacrifice and choral dance, and afterlife beliefs as they were expressed through hero worship and mystery cults. Eighteen in-depth essays illustrate the theoretical discussion with primary sources and include case studies of key cult inscriptions from Kyrene, Kos, and Miletos. This volume features maps, tables, and over twenty images to support and expand on the text, and will provide conceptual tools for understanding the actions and beliefs that constitute a religion. Additionally, Larson offers the first detailed discussion of cognition and memory in the transmission of Greek religious beliefs and rituals, as well as a glossary of terms and a bibliographical essay on the cognitive science of religion. Understanding Greek Religion is an essential resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of Greek culture and ancient Mediterranean religions.


Contents List of Illustrations, Maps and Tables Preface and Acknowledgments Using This Book Abbreviations 1. What is Greek Religion? Essay 1.1: Twelve Gods, and Other Ways to Limit a Pantheon Essay 1.2: Homer's Hera and the Hera(s) of Cult Essay 1.3: Reciprocity in Greek Religion 2. Implicit Theology and the (Ir)rational Essay 2.1: Epiphanies of Athena Essay 2.2: What Do The Gods Know? Essay 2.3: Myth, Ritual and Adonis 3. Orthopraxy, Identity, and Society Essay 3.1: The Inclusiveness of the Panathenaic Festival Essay 3.2: Dancing for the Gods Essay 3.3: The Kyrene Cathartic Law 4. Ritual, Festival and Sacrifice Essay 4.1: Sacrificing to Zeus Polieus on Kos Essay 4.2: Theseus and the Athenian Calendar Essay 4.3: Ritual Form and the Greek Evidence 5. Eschatology, Mysteries and Hero Cults Essay 5.1 How Mystical Were the Eleusinian Mysteries? Essay 5.2 Texts to Accompany the Dead Essay 5.3 Three Heroic Founders 6. Memory, Continuity and Change Essay 6.1 Memory and the Molpoi Essay 6.2 Herakles as Pan-Mediterranean Deity Essay 6.3 The Origins of Sarapis Glossary The Cognitive Science of Religion: A Bibliographical Essay Index

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  • ISBN
    • 9780415688468
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  • ページ数/冊数
    xix, 410 p.
  • 大きさ
    24 cm
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