Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion: Volume I: by Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic

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By Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic

Was once historical Greek faith rather "mere ritualism?" Early Christians denounced the pagans for the disorderly plurality in their cults, and diminished Greek faith to ritual and idolatry; Protestant theologians condemned the pagan "religion of shape" (with Catholicism as its historic heir). for a very long time, students tended to conceptualize Greek faith as one within which trust didn't topic, and religiosity needed to do with observance of rituals and spiritual practices, instead of with worshipers' internal funding. yet what does it suggest whilst Greek texts many times communicate of purity of brain, soul, and techniques?

This booklet takes an intensive new examine the traditional Greek notions of purity and pollutants. Its major situation is the interior nation of the person worshipper as they technique the gods and have interaction with the divine realm in a ritual context. it's a e-book approximately Greek worshippers' internal attitudes in the direction of the gods and rituals, and approximately what sort of internal angle the Greek gods have been envisaged to count on from their worshippers. within the wider feel, it's a publication in regards to the function of trust in historical Greek faith. by way of exploring the Greek notions of internal purity and pollutants from Hesiod to Plato, the importance of intrinsic, faith-based parts in Greek spiritual practices is revealed--thus offering the 1st historical past of the thoughts of internal purity and toxins in early Greek religion.

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121 There are, of course, particular exceptions for all general rules in Greek religion. With regard to gods’ bleeding, Il. 340–2 notes that divine blood is ichor and is not like human blood in essence, since the divinities do not eat and drink human food, and therefore they are anaimones, ‘bloodless’, and immortal. , as well as the anecdotal traditions, confirm that the divine ‘blood’ was conceptualized as a kind of fluid different from mortal blood. Famous is the quip of Alexander the Great, who, upon being wounded in battle, exclaimed, ‘friends, this here is flowing blood, not ichor “which flows in the blessed gods”’, quoting Il.

What is polluting to some is not so to others.  To Douglas 1969: 133. For a succinct and well-informed overview, Frevel and Nihan 2013a: 6–10. 49 Valeri 2000: 43–113. 47 48 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 27/08/16, SPi 14 Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion speak of ‘the system’, of ‘form’, or of ‘order’ as if they were one monolithic thing is thus quite inappropriate. 50 In essence, then, Valeri stresses that there is no one unified system, but rather, each society has many systems operating at the same time.

On the temporality of acquired purity, and ‘normality’ in opposition to purity/pollution, Bendlin 2007: 178–9. For a clear formulation of the three states as profane, polluted, and sacred (instead of pure), LSS 115, A 9–10 (fourth century BC, Cyrene). Cf. Parker 1983: 11. 117 Parker 1983, passim and on significance of water drawn from a flowing source, 226–7 with ancient testimonies; on washing esp. Graf 2007 and 2011. v. anagnos; miaros, and the Index nominum et rerum. 119 Fundamental studies: Parker 1983: passim and esp.

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