Catalogue


On Greek religion /
Robert Parker.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2011.
description
xv, 309 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0801477352 (Paper), 9780801477355 (Paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
geographic term
More Details
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2011.
isbn
0801477352 (Paper)
9780801477355 (Paper)
contents note
Why believe without revelation? : the evidences of Greek religion -- Religion without a church : religious authority in Greece -- Analyzing Greek gods -- The power and nature of heroes -- Killing, dining, communicating -- The experience of festivals -- The varieties of Greek religious experience.
catalogue key
7604111
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Robert Parker is Wykeham Professor of Ancient History at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Polytheism and Society at Athens, Athenian Religion: A History, and Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-10-01:
Although one might expect a mere survey from the title, Parker (Univ. of Oxford, UK) delivers far more than a beginners' summary. Rather, this book is a probing exploration of the methodological and interpretive difficulties associated with Greek religion from the eighth through the second centuries BCE. The book is divided into seven chapters, followed by five insightful appendixes. Chapter 1 explores questions involving how the Greeks understood the nature of their gods and what the gods expected of them. Chapter 2 examines the problem of the lack of institutional structure in Greek religion, the function of religious experts, and the role of religion in the polis. Chapters 3-4 explore conceptualizations of the divine, not only those involving the high gods, but also those related to other, problematic divine beings and heroes. Chapters 5-6 address problems of cult, including sacrifice and the function of festivals. In the final chapter, Parker argues that remarkable diversity existed in Greek religious experience, based on differences in location, gender, and social class. This work provides a wealth of insights from one of the leading experts in the field. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty/researchers. J. R. Asher Georgetown College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Although one might expect a mere survey from the title, Parker (Univ. of Oxford, UK) delivers far more than a beginners' summary. Rather, this book is a probing exploration of the methodological and interpretive difficulties associated with Greek religion from the eighth through the second centuries BCE...This work provides a wealth of insights from one of the leading experts in the field. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty/researchers."-Choice (October 2011)
"Although one might expect a mere survey from the title, Parker (Univ. of Oxford, UK) delivers far more than a beginners' summary. Rather, this book is a probing exploration of the methodological and interpretive difficulties associated with Greek religion from the eighth through the second centuries BCE…This work provides a wealth of insights from one of the leading experts in the field. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty/researchers."-Choice (October 2011)
"[Parker's] vast knowledge of the documentary evidence for Greek religion makes this essay instructive and persuasive while the questions he proposes offer challenging perspectives on the nature of the Greek religious experience. This essay will be useful to scholars of ancient religion seeking to reassess the milestones of scholarship in the field and to explore complex theoretical and theological questions relating to Greek religion."-Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Tufts University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2011
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Summaries
Main Description
"There is something of a paradox about our access to ancient Greek religion. We know too much, and too little. The materials that bear on it far outreach an individual's capacity to assimilate: so many casual allusions in so many literary texts over more than a millennium, so many direct or indirect references in so many inscriptions from so many places in the Greek world, such an overwhelming abundance of physical remains. But genuinely revealing evidence does not often cluster coherently enough to create a vivid sense of the religious realities of a particular time and place. Amid a vast archipelago of scattered islets of information, only a few are of a size to be habitable."-from the Preface In On Greek Religion, Robert Parker offers a provocative and wide-ranging entrée into the world of ancient Greek religion, focusing especially on the interpretive challenge of studying a religious system that in many ways remains desperately alien from the vantage point of the twenty-first century. One of the world's leading authorities on ancient Greek religion, Parker raises fundamental methodological questions about the study of this vast subject. Given the abundance of evidence we now have about the nature and practice of religion among the ancient Greeks-including literary, historical, and archaeological sources-how can we best exploit that evidence and agree on the central underlying issues? Is it possible to develop a larger, "unified" theoretical framework that allows for coherent discussions among archaeologists, anthropologists, literary scholars, and historians? In seven thematic chapters, Parker focuses on key themes in Greek religion: the epistemological basis of Greek religion; the relation of ritual to belief; theories of sacrifice; the nature of gods and heroes; the meaning of rituals, festivals, and feasts; and the absence of religious authority. Ranging across the archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods, he draws on multiple disciplines both within and outside classical studies. He also remains sensitive to varieties of Greek religious experience. Also included are five appendixes in which Parker applies his innovative methodological approach to particular cases, such as the acceptance of new gods and the consultation of oracles. On Greek Religion will stir debate for its bold questioning of disciplinary norms and for offering scholars and students new points of departure for future research.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Why Believe without Revelation? The Evidences of Greek Religionp. 1
Religion without a Church: Religious Authority in Greecep. 40
Analyzing Greek Godsp. 64
The Power and Nature of Heroesp. 103
Killing, Dining, Communicatingp. 124
The Experience of Festivalsp. 171
The Varieties of Greek Religious Experiencep. 224
Appendices
Seeking the Advice of the God on Matters of Cultp. 265
Accepting New Godsp. 273
Worshipping Mortals, and the Nature of Godsp. 279
Types of Chthonian Sacrifice?p. 283
The Early History of Hero Cultp. 287
Bibliographyp. 293
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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