Ancient Religions by Ms. Sarah Iles Johnston

By Ms. Sarah Iles Johnston

Non secular ideals and practices, which permeated all points of existence in antiquity, traveled well-worn routes in the course of the Mediterranean: itinerant charismatic practitioners touring from position to put peddled their talents as healers, purifiers, cursers, and initiators; and vessels adorned with illustrations of myths traveled with them. New gods encountered in overseas lands by means of retailers and conquerors have been occasionally taken domestic to be tailored and followed. This choice of essays by means of a distinctive foreign workforce of students, drawn from the groundbreaking reference paintings faith within the old global, deals an expansive, comparative point of view in this complicated religious global.

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Tudes préliminaires aux religions orientales dans l’empire romain 46. Leiden: Brill, 1975. Fowden, Garth. Empire to Commonwealth: Consequences of Monotheism in Late Antiquity. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993. Hengel, M. Judentum und Hellenismus: Studien zu ihrer Begegnung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung Palästinas bis zur Mitte des 2. Jh. v. Chr. Tübingen: Mohr, 1969. Momigliano, Arnaldo. ” In Momigliano, On Pagans, Jews, and Christians. : Wesleyan University Press, 1987. Peterson, E.

YHWH intervenes in human affairs not only occasionally; in entering the covenant with Israel, concern with human affairs becomes YHWH’s dominant trait. Historia sacra is a dimension of divine presence that excludes the principle of plurality. There can be but one lord of history, one divine partner in a story shared by god and humans. There are, however, surprising parallels to such an extremely anthropocentric conception of the divine even in Egypt. A passage in the Instruction for Merikare speaks of the ways that God cares for humans as his cattle or herd, in terms strongly reminiscent of biblical anthropocentrism: Humans are well cared for, the livestock of god: he made heaven and earth for their sake, he pushed the greediness of the waters back and created the air so that their nostrils might live.

However, the idea of divine verdict and intervention was not totally absent even in Egypt. On the contrary, the typically Egyptian idea of a judgment after death appears as the strongest possible manifestation of the principle of divine verdict. But the concept of postmortem human immortality provides a horizon of fulfillment beyond history, whereas in Mesopotamia and Israel, where the concept of human immortality is unknown, every account has to be settled on earth. Here, the horizon of fulfillment is confined to the terrestrial world, but stretched into the future, over generations and dynasties.

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