An introduction to greek religion and its origins

Divine Services At the center of the life of the Church is the Holy Eucharistwhich is the principal celebration of our faith and the means through which we participate in the very life of the Holy Trinity. The major Sacraments are closely related to the Eucharist, and they bear witness to the continuing presence of Christ in the lives of His people.

An introduction to greek religion and its origins

Namely, one seeks to understand how the reader or listener should understand the portrayal of the ancient Greek deities.

Historical Vedic religion - Wikipedia

In other words, what are the Olympian passages and the references to gods or goddesses in the context of this world supposed to tell the audience? To answer the question, one needs also understand something of ancient Greek religion and how the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, fit into that context.

To an extent, that understanding necessitates a discussion of ancient Greek and later Roman education. Yet one cannot neglect the religious conceptions of the modern audience either. The purpose of discussing what the ancients got out of Homer is really to equip the modern reader to as much as possible get those same things out of the epics too.

The standard work on Greek religious practice is the book Greek Religion by Walter Burkertwhich takes a comparative religion approach to the subject.

The halakhic and aggadic traditions of Judaism or the markedly different theology of Christianity will probably be the most familiar examples of such modern religions to readers. Image via Wikipedia The ritualistic aspects of Greek religion do at times come up in the Odyssey, although a bit more frequently in the Iliad.

The primary purpose of these was to show due respect to the gods so that one does not invite disaster or to appease an angry god or goddess whom one has offended.

An introduction to greek religion and its origins

This attitude is difficult for many modern readers to understand because of the stark differences from either the Jewish or Christian traditions. Either view not only denigrates an entire culture that thrived for over a millennium and its people but also prevents one from fully appreciating the extant fruits of that culture, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Ancient Greek religion like modern religions dealt with issues of how one lives a happy and productive, meaningful life and the role of human beings in the world; it just viewed those issues very differently from the most familiar modern religions. One should bear in mind that the Homeric epics originate from a time when Greek religion lacked a robust intellectual tradition, but they remained the core texts of that religion even when the Greeks had developed their highly sophisticated religious intellectual tradition, namely philosophya body of religious tradition that we still respect greatly today.

Yes, modern philosophy has become secularized, but ancient Greek philosophy far from being a rejection of religion was an outgrowth of it, as acknowledged in Burkert.

Yet, The Iliad and the Odyssey loosely give archetypes of how the Greek pantheon interacted with human beings as per ancient Greek religion. Yet they describe the roles and nature of respectively gods and humans.

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What to take from the poets and what not to became one of the foundational problems in the development of philosophy.

Taking the poems as the Greeks always had apparently as at least somewhat allegorical only partially addressed the problem. Yet one should always recall that when nearly two millennia later the Christianized Romans sought to eradicate paganism as mentioned in Gibbonthey banned the teaching of the Iliad and the Odyssey, memorization of which to the extent one could continue any passage cited from memory comprised the basic education of Greeks and later Romans.

A god or goddess in the Greek conception more or less personifies one of the forces at work in the world. The traditional twelve Olympian gods in this sense personify the most basic forces at work in human society and the natural world.

The Greek pantheon more widely embodies all the various forces the Greeks recognized. Of course, one should bear in mind that most abstract notions in Greek were also regarded as deities because the concepts of an abstract idea and of a god or goddess were not entirely separate in Greek thought.

Thus in the ancient Greek religious view, the essence of the world was its underlying chaos. The world in this view is in a sense incomprehensible but yet also clearly order arises out of it and so, without getting into the details of the cosmogeny, time, the earth, the sky and the grand elements with which humans cannot properly interact develop out of the chaos.

An introduction to greek religion and its origins

These are not properly speaking gods according to the Greeks but are deities in the comparative religious sense. The twelve Olympians are the forces most at work in the human world, unpredictable and capricious, mostly involving themselves with the broad sweep of human affairs and hence dealing with individuals rarely, and then only highly exceptional people.

Those people are humans but heroes, half gods themselves in that they are the great movers and shakers of the world.The historical Vedic religion (also known as Vedism, Brahmanism, Vedic Brahmanism, and ancient Hinduism) refers to the religious ideas and practices among Indo-Aryan-speaking peoples of ancient India after about BCE.

Jul 18,  · Introduction to the Odyssey (Part 3): Greek religion and the Homeric epics Posted on 07/18/ by originalliterature The purpose of this third and penultimate part of my introduction to the Odyssey focuses on how an ancient Greek and a modern reader can understand the portions of the Iliad and the Odyssey portraying gods and goddesses.

From Religion to Philosophy: A Study in the Origins of Western Speculation [F. M. Cornford] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Cornford arrived at a picture of the origins of Greek philosophy which was historically superior to that which anyone else has so far reached.

— The Classical Review. This exploration of early . The first cookbook was written by the Greek food gourmet, Archestratos, in B.C., which suggests that cooking has always been of importance and significance in Greek society.

Modern chefs owe the tradition of their tall, white chef's hat to the Greeks.

The roots of Greek religion

This essay delves deeply into the origins of the Vietnam War, critiques U.S. justifications for intervention, examines the brutal conduct of the war, and discusses the antiwar movement, with a separate section on protest songs. Although its origins may be traced to the remotest eras, Greek religion in its developed form lasted more than a thousand years, from the time of Homer (probably 9th or 8th century bce) to the reign of the emperor Julian (4th century ce).

Dramatic literature |