Ancient Mystery Cults

Ancient Mystery Cults

by Walter Burkert

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The foremost historian of Greek religion provides the first comprehensive, comparative study of a little-known aspect of ancient religious beliefs and practices. Secret mystery cults flourished within the larger culture of the public religion of Greece and Rome for roughly a thousand years. This book is neither a history nor a survey but a comparative phenomenology, concentrating on five major cults. In defining the mysteries and describing their rituals, membership, organization, and dissemination, Walter Burkert displays the remarkable erudition we have come to expect of him; he also shows great sensitivity and sympathy in interpreting the experiences and motivations of the devotees.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674253155
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/15/1989
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Walter Burkert was Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of Zurich.

Table of Contents


1. Personal Needs in This Life and after Death

2. Organization and Identities

3. Theologia and Mysteries: Myth, Allegory, and Platonism

4. The Extraordinary Experience




Index of Greek Terms

General Index

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