Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins: Laughter in the History of Religion [NOOK Book]

Overview

Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins analyses how laughter has been used as a symbol in myths, rituals and festivals of Western religions, and has thus been inscribed in religious discourse. The Mesopotamian Anu, the Israelite Jahweh, the Greek Dionysos, the Gnostic Christ and the late modern Jesus were all laughing gods. Through their laughter, gods prove both their superiority and their proximity to humans.
In this comprehensive study, Professor Gilhus examines the relationship ...
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Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins: Laughter in the History of Religion

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Overview

Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins analyses how laughter has been used as a symbol in myths, rituals and festivals of Western religions, and has thus been inscribed in religious discourse. The Mesopotamian Anu, the Israelite Jahweh, the Greek Dionysos, the Gnostic Christ and the late modern Jesus were all laughing gods. Through their laughter, gods prove both their superiority and their proximity to humans.
In this comprehensive study, Professor Gilhus examines the relationship between corporeal human laughter and spiritual divine laughter from c'ussical antiquity, to the Christian West and the modern era. She combines the study of the history of religion with social-scientific approaches, to provide an original and pertinent exploration of a universal human phenomenon, and its significance for the development of religions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781134717675
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/11/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 184
  • File size: 2 MB

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 The Ancient Near East: Laughter of Derision and Laughter of Regeneration 14
2 Greece: When Laughter Touches the Unthought 28
3 Rome: Critic of Laughter and Critical Laughter 43
4 Early Christianity: Laughter Between Body and Spirit 60
5 Medieval Christianity: Carnival Corpus Christi and Bodily Laughter 78
6 Modernity and the Remythologization of Laughter: Churchly Boredom and Therapeutic Laughter 102
7 Religion of Jokes: Flirtation with the East 122
Conclusion 135
Notes 140
Bibliography 153
Index 167
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