By Sarah Iles Johnston
non secular ideals and practices, which permeated all elements of existence in antiquity, traveled well-worn routes through the Mediterranean: itinerant charismatic practitioners travelling from position to put peddled their abilities as healers, purifiers, cursers, and initiators; and vessels embellished with illustrations of myths traveled with them. New gods encountered in international lands by means of retailers and conquerors have been occasionally taken domestic to be tailored and followed. This selection of essays via a exceptional foreign crew of students, drawn from the groundbreaking reference paintings Religion within the old World, bargains an expansive, comparative point of view in this advanced non secular international.
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In other cases again, a common phenomenon does not necessarily call for an explanation of transfer and assimilation. Ecstatic or “intuitive” prophecy is known all over the globe, and it is well at home in the ancient Mediterranean. Ecstatic prophets were widely attested in Mari during the epoch of Hammurabi, and their similarity to more recent biblical prophecy has been noted; the temporal distance, however, forbids the assumption of a simple transfer. Female ecstatics are well attested in the cult of Ishtar at Arbela in the Assyrian epoch; not much later, the Greeks have their Sibyl and the Delphic Pythia, but also the male prophet Bacis; the fame of the Sibyl survives the Christianization of the Roman Empire.
One God or Many? Concepts of Divinity in the Ancient World. [Chebeague, Maine:] Casco Bay Assyriological Institute, 2000. Schindler, Alfred, ed. Monotheismus als politisches Problem: Erik Peterson und die Kritik der politischen Theologie. Studien zur evangelischen Ethik 14. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 1978. Van Seters, J. In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983. White, H. G. , ed. and trans. Ausonius.
The gods of polytheistic religions, in their need of social bonds, formed constellations within their own sphere and were not dependent on humanity. The god of the Bible is a “jealous god,” having to count on the love and loyalty of his chosen people, which inevitably fails in fulﬁlling his expectations. Thus, together with counterreligion, the concept of “sin” is born as the awareness of having failed in requiting God’s love and of having given in to the temptations of the false gods. The theologization of justice.
Ancient Religions by Sarah Iles Johnston