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Imagine No Religion – How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient Realities - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Imagine No Religion: How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient Realities

Carlin A. Barton and Daniel Boyarin


There are two lines of argument in the book. The first, supported by some current and previous scholarship, develops the idea that ancient Hellenic and Roman cultures did not have and would not have recognized a concept of “religion” as a distinct or separate sphere of experience and cultural practice, and that the nouns thrēskeia and religio (usually translated as “religion”) had a range of culturally specific meanings very distinct from our “religion.” The second argument is that understanding the array of meanings of these words enables us to see connections and patterns within these cultur ... More

Keywords: Cicero, Greek, Judeo-Greek, Josephus, religio, religion (absence of), Roman, thrēskeia, Tertullian

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780823271191
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823271191.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Carlin A. Barton, author
University of Massachusetts

Daniel Boyarin, author
University of California, Berkeley

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