Greek Popular Religion in Greek Philosophy

Greek Popular Religion in Greek Philosophy


By (author) Jon D. Mikalson

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 218mm x 25mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 22 July 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199577838
  • ISBN 13: 9780199577835
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,048,902

Product description

Jon D. Mikalson examines how Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek philosophers described, interpreted, criticized, and utilized the components and concepts of the religion of the people of their time - practices such as sacrifice, prayer, dedications, and divination. The chief concepts involved are those of piety and impiety, and after a thorough analysis of the philosophical texts Mikalson offers a refined definition of Greek piety, dividing it into its two constituent elements of 'proper respect' for the gods and 'religious correctness'. He concludes with a demonstration of the benevolence of the gods in the philosophical tradition, linking it to the expectation of that benevolence evinced by popular religion.

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Author information

Jon D. Mikalson is W. R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia.

Review quote

"I found this to be an interesting and informative book, both to those seeking better understanding of popular religion in ancient Greece and to those seeking better understanding of the philosophers' writings."--Miriam Byrd, Southern Humanities Review

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. 'Service to the gods' ; 2. Prayer, sacrifice, festivals, dedications, and priests in 'service to the gods' ; 3. Divination and its range of influence ; 4. 'Proper respect for the gods' and 'religious correctness' ; 5. Philosophers and the benevolence of the Greek gods ; 6. Polling the Greeks and their philosophers