Greek Popular Religion in Greek Philosophy

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Overview


Jon D. Mikalson examines how Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek philosophers described, interpreted, criticized, and utilized the components and concepts of the religion of the people of their time - practices such as sacrifice, prayer, dedications, and divination. The chief concepts involved are those of piety and impiety, and after a thorough analysis of the philosophical texts Mikalson offers a refined definition of Greek piety, dividing it into its two constituent elements of 'proper respect' for the gods and 'religious correctness'. He concludes with a demonstration of the benevolence of the gods in the philosophical tradition, linking it to the expectation of that benevolence evinced by popular religion.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I found this to be an interesting and informative book, both to those seeking better understanding of popular religion in ancient Greece and to those seeking better understanding of the philosophers' writings."--Miriam Byrd, Southern Humanities Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199577835
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/22/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon D. Mikalson is W. R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. 'Service to the gods'
2. Prayer, sacrifice, festivals, dedications, and priests in 'service to the gods'
3. Divination and its range of influence
4. 'Proper respect for the gods' and 'religious correctness'
5. Philosophers and the benevolence of the Greek gods
6. Polling the Greeks and their philosophers

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