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Read online Ancient Mystery Cults.pdf PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Ancient Mystery Cults The foremost historian of Greek religion provides the first comprehensive comparative study of a little known aspect of ancient religious beliefs and practices Secret mystery cults flourished within the larger culture of the public religion of Greece and Rome for roughly a thousand years This book is neither a history nor a survey but a comparative phenomenology Concentrating on five major cults In defining the mysteries and describing their rituals membership organization and dissemination Walter Burkert displays the remarkable erudition we have come to expect of him he also shows sensitivity and sympathy in interpreting the experiences and motivations of the devotees by Walter Burkert

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Ancient Mystery Cults
Title:Ancient Mystery Cults
Format Type:eBook PDF / e-Pub
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ISBN:0674033876
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:192
Category:History, Religion, Mythology, Non fiction
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Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, Ren Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation, Greek Religion, Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth, Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age, Structure & History in Greek Mythology & Ritual (Sather Classical Lecture), Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture, Savage Energies: Lessons of Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Ancient Mystery Cults, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism
We often think of classical Greek society as a model of rationality and order Yet as Walter Burkert demonstrates in these influential essays on the history of Greek religion there were archaic savage forces surging beneath the outwardly calm face of classical Greece whose potentially violent and destructive energies Burkert argues were harnessed to constructive ends through the interlinked uses of myth and ritual br br For example in a much cited essay on the Athenian religious festival of the Arrephoria Burkert uncovers deep connections between this strange nocturnal ritual in which two virgin girls carried sacred offerings into a cave and later returned with something given to them there and tribal puberty initiations by linking the festival with the myth of the daughters of Kekrops Other chapters explore the origins of tragedy in blood sacrifice the role of myth in the ritual of the new fire on Lemnos the ties between violence the Athenian courts and the annual purification of the divine image and how failed political propaganda entered the realm of myth at the time of the Persian Wars, Blood sacrifice the ritual slaughter of animals has been basic to religion through history so that it survives in spiritualized form even in Christianity How did this violent phenomenon achieve the status of the sacred This question is examined in Walter Burkert s famous study, Tantalizingly rich this is a splendid book b Greece and Rome b br Burken relegates his learned documentation to the notes and writes in a lively and fluent style The book is recommended as a major contribution to the interpretation of ancient Greek myth and ritual The breadth alone of Burkert s learning renders his book indispensable b Classical Outlook b br Impressive founded on a striking knowledge of the complex evidence literary epigraphical archaeological comparative for this extensive subject Burkert offers a rare combination of exact scholarship with imagination and even humor A brilliant book in which the reader can see at every point what is going on in the author s mind and that is never uninteresting and rarely unimportant b Times Literary Supplement b br Burkert s work is of such magnitude and depth that it may even contribute to that most difficult of tasks defining myth ritual and religion He locates his work in the context of culture and the historv of ideas and he is not hesitant to draw on sociology and biology Consequently his work is of significance for philosophers historians and even theologians as well as for classicists and historians of Greek culture His hypotheses are courageous and his conclusions are bold both establish standards for methodology as well as results b Religious Studies Review b, Sacrifice ranging from the sacrifice of virgins to circumcision to giving up what is most valued is essential to all religions Could there be a natural even biological reason for these practices Something that might explain why religions of so many different cultures share so many rituals and concepts In this extraordinary book one of the world s leading authorities on ancient religions explores the possibility of natural religion a religious sense and practice naturally proceeding from biological imperatives br br Because they lack later refinements the earliest religions from the Near East Israel Greece and Rome may tell us a great deal about the basic properties and dynamics of religion and it is to these cultures that Walter Burkert looks for answers His book takes us on an intellectual adventure that begins some years ago and plunges us into a fascinating world of divine signs and omens offerings and sacrifices rituals and beliefs unmitigated by modern science and sophistication Tracing parallels between animal behavior and human religious activity Burkert suggests natural foundations for sacrifices and rituals of escape for the concept of guilt and punishment for the practice of gift exchange and the notion of a cosmic hierarchy and for the development of a system of signs for negotiating with an uncertain environment Again and again he returns to the present to remind us that for all our worldliness we are not so far removed from the first i Homo religiosus i br br A breathtaking journey as entertaining as it is provocative i Creation of the Sacred i brings rich new insight on religious thought past and present and raises serious questions about the ultimate reasons for and the ultimate meaning of human religiousness