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Religion

Theurgy in Late Antiquity

Theurgy in Late Antiquity PDF Author: Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
ISBN: 3525540205
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 325

Book Description
Theurgy is commonly taken to denote a complex of rites which are based on the so-called Chaldean Oracles, a collection of oracles in hexameters, which were probably composed during the late 2nd century AD. These rituals are mostly known through Neoplatonic sources, who engage in a passionate debate about their relevance to the salvation of the soul and thus to the philosopher’s ultimate goal. Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler examines the development of the discourse on theurgy, attempting to reconstruct what was understood as theurgic ritual in the late antique sources. Withstanding the temptation to impose a unity on the disparate sources which span several centuries, she thus goes beyond the picture of a coherent, extra-philosophical tradition drawn by the Neoplatonists to sketch the variations in the rituals subsumed under ‘theurgy’ and their function, and shows how every author constructs his own ‘theurgy’. This perspective leads to consider theurgy as an example of an ‘artificial’ ritual tradition, composed from already existing elements to create something claimed as sui generis. Theurgy offers the great opportunity to look at such a tradition from its beginning up to its end and to analyse the mechanisms of inventing and reinventing such a ritual tradition in process.

Theurgy in Late Antiquity

Theurgy in Late Antiquity PDF Author: Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
ISBN: 3525540205
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 325

Book Description
Theurgy is commonly taken to denote a complex of rites which are based on the so-called Chaldean Oracles, a collection of oracles in hexameters, which were probably composed during the late 2nd century AD. These rituals are mostly known through Neoplatonic sources, who engage in a passionate debate about their relevance to the salvation of the soul and thus to the philosopher’s ultimate goal. Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler examines the development of the discourse on theurgy, attempting to reconstruct what was understood as theurgic ritual in the late antique sources. Withstanding the temptation to impose a unity on the disparate sources which span several centuries, she thus goes beyond the picture of a coherent, extra-philosophical tradition drawn by the Neoplatonists to sketch the variations in the rituals subsumed under ‘theurgy’ and their function, and shows how every author constructs his own ‘theurgy’. This perspective leads to consider theurgy as an example of an ‘artificial’ ritual tradition, composed from already existing elements to create something claimed as sui generis. Theurgy offers the great opportunity to look at such a tradition from its beginning up to its end and to analyse the mechanisms of inventing and reinventing such a ritual tradition in process.

Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity

Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity PDF Author: Algis Uždavinys
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
ISBN: 9781597310864
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 308

Book Description
The ancient philosophy, in its original Orphico-Pythagorean and Platonic form, is not simply a way of life in accordance with the divine or human intellect (nous), but also the way of alchemical transformation and mystical illumination achieved through initiatic 'death' and subsequent restoration at the level of divine light. To use another mythical image, philosophy restores the soul's wings and leads the purified lover of wisdom to Heaven. As a means of spiritual reintegration and unification, ancient philosophy is inseparable from the hieratic rites. Therefore those scholars who themselves follow the anagogic path of Platonic tradition are more or less firmly convinced that their philosophy ultimately derives from the Egyptian and Mesopotamian temple liturgies and rituals, reinterpreted and revived by the Neoplatonists under the name of 'theurgy' in late antiquity. The theurgic 'animation' of statues appears to be among the main keys for understanding how various royal and priestly practices, related to the daily ritual service and encounter with the divine presence in the temples, developed into the Neoplatonic mysticism of late antiquity. The traditional theory of symbolism still stands on the Neoplatonic foundation established by Iamblichus, Proclus, and Damascius. "This book clearly establishes three things: that traditional myth (as the Neoplatonists maintained) is the symbolic expression of metaphysics, as metaphysics is the exegesis of myth; that Greek philosophy was not an isolated 'miracle' but a reinterpretation of perennial themes common to the ancient Near Eastern, Mesopotamian, Indian, and especially Egyptian religions; and that Platonic philosophical discourse was but one-half of a whole which included an invocatory/contemplative practice known as 'theurgy'. It was not merely the ancestor of western speculative philosophy, but an askesis, a yoga-a way of realization (though no longer a living tradition) worthy to be included among the great spiritual methods of all places and times." Charles Uupton, author of Knowings "In this most stimulating and wide-ranging work, Algis Uzdavinys, drawing on the resources of his enormous learning, leads Neoplatonic theurgy back to its roots in Ancient Egypt, thereby setting Platonic philosophy in a new and wider context. Students of Neoplatonism will find themselves much indebted to him for this, and all readers will find their outlook on life significantly changed.- Prof. John M. Dillon, Trinity College, Dublin, author of Middle Platonists

Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity

Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity PDF Author: Algis Uzdavinys
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781597319881
Category :
Languages : en
Pages :

Book Description


The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity PDF Author: Oliver Nicholson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192562460
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 1743

Book Description
The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity is the first comprehensive reference book covering every aspect of history, culture, religion, and life in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East (including the Persian Empire and Central Asia) between the mid-3rd and the mid-8th centuries AD, the era now generally known as Late Antiquity. This period saw the re-establishment of the Roman Empire, its conversion to Christianity and its replacement in the West by Germanic kingdoms, the continuing Roman Empire in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Sassanian Empire, and the rise of Islam. Consisting of over 1.5 million words in more than 5,000 A-Z entries, and written by more than 400 contributors, it is the long-awaited middle volume of a series, bridging a significant period of history between those covered by the acclaimed Oxford Classical Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. The scope of the Dictionary is broad and multi-disciplinary; across the wide geographical span covered (from Western Europe and the Mediterranean as far as the Near East and Central Asia), it provides succinct and pertinent information on political history, law, and administration; military history; religion and philosophy; education; social and economic history; material culture; art and architecture; science; literature; and many other areas. Drawing on the latest scholarship, and with a formidable international team of advisers and contributors, The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity aims to establish itself as the essential reference companion to a period that is attracting increasing attention from scholars and students worldwide.

The Metamorphosis of Magic from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period

The Metamorphosis of Magic from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period PDF Author: Jan N. Bremmer
Publisher: Peeters Publishers
ISBN: 9789042912274
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 426

Book Description
Deities, demons, and angels became important protagonists in the magic of the Late Antique world, and were also the main reasons for the condemnation of magic in the Christian era. Supplicatory incantations, rituals of coercion, enticing suffumigations, magical prayers and mystical songs drew spiritual powers to the humain domain. Next to the magician's desire to regulate fate and fortune, it was the communion with the spirit world that gave magic the potential to purify and even deify its practitioners. The sense of elation and the awareness of a metaphysical order caused magic to merge with philosophy (notably Neoplatonism). The heritage of Late Antique theurgy would be passed on to the Arab world, and together with classical science and learning would take root again in the Latin West in the High Middle Ages. The metamorphosis of magic laid out in this book is the transformation of ritual into occult philosophy against the background of cultural changes in Judaism, Graeco-Roman religion and Christianity. This volume, the first in the new series Groningen Studies in Cultural Change, offers the papers presented at the workshop The Metamorphosis of Magic from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period held from 22 to 24 June 2000, and organised by Jan N. Bremmer and Jan R. Veenstra. The papers have been written by scholars from such varying disciplines as classics, theology, philosophy, cultural history, and law. Their contributions shed new light upon several old obscurities; they show magic to be a significant area of culture, and they advance the case for viewing transformations in the lore and practice of magic as a barometer with which to measure cultural change.

Divination and Theurgy in Neoplatonism

Divination and Theurgy in Neoplatonism PDF Author: Crystal Addey
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317148991
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 352

Book Description
Why did ancient philosophers consult oracles, write about them, and consider them to be an important part of philosophical thought and practice? This book explores the extensive links between oracles and philosophy in Late Antiquity, particularly focusing on the roles of oracles and other forms of divination in third and fourth century CE Neoplatonism. Examining some of the most significant debates between pagan philosophers and Christian intellectuals on the nature of oracles as a central yet contested element of religious tradition, Addey focuses particularly on Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles and Iamblichus' De Mysteriis - two works which deal extensively with oracles and other forms of divination. This book argues for the significance of divination within Neoplatonism and offers a substantial reassessment of oracles and philosophical works and their relationship to one another. With a broad interdisciplinary approach, encompassing Classics, Ancient Philosophy, Theology, Religious Studies and Ancient History, Addey draws on recent anthropological and religious studies research which has challenged and re-evaluated the relationship between rationality and ritual.

Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity

Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity PDF Author: Panagiotis G. Pavlos
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429803095
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 316

Book Description
Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith. The chapters are united in their goal to explore transformations that took place in the reception and interaction process between Platonism and Christianity in this period. The contributions in this volume explore the reception of Platonic material in Christian thought, showing that the transmission of cultural content is always mediated, and ought to be studied as a transformative process by way of selection and interpretation. Some chapters also deal with various aspects of the wider discussion on how Platonic, and Hellenic, philosophy and early Christian thought related to each other, examining the differences and common ground between these traditions. Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity offers an insightful and broad ranging study on the subject, which will be of interest to students of both philosophy and theology in the Late Antique period, as well as anyone working on the reception and history of Platonic thought, and the development of Christian thought.

The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity

The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity PDF Author: Andrew Cain
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317019539
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 486

Book Description
Late Antiquity witnessed a dramatic recalibration in the economy of power, and nowhere was this more pronounced than in the realm of religion. The transformations that occurred in this pivotal era moved the ancient world into the Middle Ages and forever changed the way that religion was practiced. The twenty eight studies in this volume explore this shift using evidence ranging from Latin poetic texts, to Syriac letter collections, to the iconography of Roman churches and Merowingian mortuary goods. They range in chronology from the late third through the early seventh centuries AD and apply varied theories and approaches. All converge around the notion that religion is fundamentally a discourse of power and that power in Late Antiquity was especially charged with the force of religion. The articles are divided into eight sections which examine the power of religion in literature, theurgical power over the divine, emperors and the deployment of religious power, limitations on the power of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the use of the cross as a symbol of power, Rome and its transformation as a center of power, the power of religion in the barbarian west, and religious power in the communities of the east. This kaleidoscope of perspectives creates a richly illuminating volume that add a new social and political dimension to current debates about religion in Late Antiquity.

Mutations of Hellenism in Late Antiquity

Mutations of Hellenism in Late Antiquity PDF Author: Polymnia Athanassiadi
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 135155672X
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 394

Book Description
The 21 studies in this volume, which deal with issues of social and intellectual history, religion and historical methodology, explore the ways whereby over the course of a few hundred years -roughly between the second and the fifth centuries A.D.- an anthropocentric culture mutated into a theocentric one. Rather than underlining the differences between a revamped paganism and the emergent Christian traditions, the essays in the volume focus on the processes of osmosis, interaction and acculturation, which shaped the change in priorities among the newly created textual communities that were spreading across the entire breadth of the late antique oecumene. The main issues considered in this connection include the phenomena of textuality and holy scripture, canonicity and exclusion, truth and error, prophecy and tradition, authority and challenge, faith and salvation, holy places and holy men, in the context of the construction of new orthodox readings of the Greek philosophical heritage. Moreover the volume suggests that intolerant attitudes, which form a characteristic trait of monotheisms, were not an exclusive preserve of Christianity (as the Enlightenment tradition would insist), but were progressively espoused by pagan philosophers and divine men as part of the theory and practice of Hellenism‘s theological koine. Efforts to establish the monopoly of a revealed truth against any rival claims were transversal to the textual communities which emerged in late antiquity and remodelled the intellectual and spiritual landscape of the Greater Mediterranean.

Late Antiquity

Late Antiquity PDF Author: Glen Warren Bowersock
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674511736
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 780

Book Description
A colorful tour of late antiquity covers late Roman, Byzantine, Sassanian, and early Islamic culture and discusses topics ranging from angels in Islam, concubinage, barbarians and ethnicity, and empire building.