BURKERT ANCIENT MYSTERY CULTS PDF

He is the leading active scholar of the religion of early and classical Greece. His studies wed philology and history with methods drawn from anthropology and resemble the work of Jonathan Z. But, unlike Smith, who seems to rule out diachronic considerations categorically in favor of synchronic taxonomies or analogical comparisons, Burkert remains interested in questions of long-term historical evolution and cross-cultural influence. Burkert gives particular attention to psychological causation and the biological roots of human behavior as revealed by the science of ethology. For example, his study of Greek sacrifice, Homo necans, roots the practice of sacrifice in the biological necessity faced by prehistoric hunting groups that killed to survive.

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He is the leading active scholar of the religion of early and classical Greece. His studies wed philology and history with methods drawn from anthropology and resemble the work of Jonathan Z. But, unlike Smith, who seems to rule out diachronic considerations categorically in favor of synchronic taxonomies or analogical comparisons, Burkert remains interested in questions of long-term historical evolution and cross-cultural influence. Burkert gives particular attention to psychological causation and the biological roots of human behavior as revealed by the science of ethology.

For example, his study of Greek sacrifice, Homo necans, roots the practice of sacrifice in the biological necessity faced by prehistoric hunting groups that killed to survive. Burkert suggests that this necessary, aggressive behavior gave rise to anxiety, but through the practice of sacrifice the unavoidable aggression, which otherwise threatened to destroy society, was redirected to its promotion instead.

The precise relation between myth and ritual has been a vexing question for scholars of ancient religions; Burkert places them side by side and links them at a structural level.

He thinks ritual is older than myth, because it is a form of behavior found even in animals. Nevertheless, ritual and myth share several important features: Both depend upon basic biological or cultural programs of action and detachment from pragmatic reality.

Both serve communication. Because myth and ritual are related in this way, it is possible for them to be found together. His most recent work has been devoted to examining the influence of the ancient Near East on archaic Greek civilization.

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Walter Burkert

Works of Art 9 Essay Shrouded in secrecy, ancient mystery cults fascinate and capture the imagination. A pendant to the official cults of the Greeks and Romans, mystery cults served more personal, individualistic attitudes toward death and the afterlife. Most were based on sacred stories hieroi logoi that often involved the ritual reenactment of a death-rebirth myth of a particular divinity. In addition to the promise of a better afterlife , mystery cults fostered social bonds among the participants, called mystai. Initiation fees and other contributions were also expected.

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Mystery Cults in the Greek and Roman World

Start your review of Ancient Mystery Cults Revised Write a review Nov 07, peter rated it really liked it A good, quick little primer on a fascinating aspect of the classical religious context: the mystery cult. These religions set the stage for the emergence of Christianity, and it is remarkable to hear of how they anticipate and how they differ from it. Burkett makes it quite clear how dependent these mystery cults were on the broader pagan milieu. This book is scholarly but approachable, and does not suffer from any new age mysticism that many works on this subject are burdened by. Jun 21, Maan Kawas rated it really liked it An excellent book that provides information about the realm of ancient mystery cults, Ancient Greek and Roman, Ancient Egyptian, and Mesopotamian. Dec 02, Matt rated it really liked it The best part of this book is that it gives you glimpses into the minds of people in Western civilization before Christianity. I still wish Burkert had organized it with a chapter for every religion discussed in the book, rather than switching back and forth between the different religions.

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Ancient Mystery Cults (Revised)

Carl Newell Jackson Lectures. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Ancient Mystery Cults by Walter Burkegt. To ask other readers questions about Ancient Mystery Cultsplease sign up. Poet and Artist in Greece. Subscribe to receive information about forthcoming books, seasonal catalogs, and more, in newsletters tailored to your interests.

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