Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities and the Religions of Late Antiquity / Edition 1

Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities and the Religions of Late Antiquity / Edition 1

by Jonathan Z. Smith
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226763633

ISBN-13: 9780226763637

Pub. Date: 05/28/1994

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

In this major theoretical and methodological statement on the history of religions, Jonathan Z. Smith shows how convert apologetic agendas can dictate the course of comparative religious studies. As his example, Smith reviews four centuries of scholarship comparing early Christianities with religions of late Antiquity (especially the so-called mystery cults) and

Overview

In this major theoretical and methodological statement on the history of religions, Jonathan Z. Smith shows how convert apologetic agendas can dictate the course of comparative religious studies. As his example, Smith reviews four centuries of scholarship comparing early Christianities with religions of late Antiquity (especially the so-called mystery cults) and shows how this scholarship has been based upon an underlying Protestant-Catholic polemic. The result is a devastating critique of traditional New Testament scholarship, a redescription of early Christianities as religious traditions amenable to comparison, and a milestone in Smith's controversial approach to comparative religious studies.

"An important book, and certainly one of the most significant in the career of Jonathan Z. Smith, whom one may venture to call the greatest pathologist in the history of religions. As in many precedent cases, Smith follows a standard procedure: he carefully selects his victim, and then dissects with artistic finesse and unequaled acumen. The operation is always necessary, and a deconstructor of Smith's caliber is hard to find."—Ioan P. Coulianu, Journal of Religion

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226763637
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
05/28/1994
Series:
Chicago Studies in the History of Judaism Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
I. On the Origin of Origins
II. On Comparison
III. On Comparing Words
IV. On Comparing Stories
V. On Comparing Settings
Index

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