Religion of the Gods

Religion of the Gods : Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity

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This book seeks to explain an enigmatic and paradoxical image common to many of the world religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic-that of the god who worships. Drawing on a broad array of comparative evidence, including examples from Indian, Iranian, Germanic, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions, Patton fashions a new theory of "divine reflexivity," according to which the gods create, model, and comment upon those practices with which they are related, not just as recipients but as prototypes. This theory offers a satisfying basis of interpretation for such disparate cases as the bull- slaying god of Mithraism, and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as repeated in the Christian mass. With its new explanation of a fascinating religious phenomenon, this book will be of great to both comparativists and to scholars of the individual religions more

Product details

  • Hardback | 512 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 40.64mm | 884.5g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 68 halftones, 1 line illustrations
  • 019509106X
  • 9780195091069

Review quote

A fascinating display of comparative analysis, Religion of the Gods combines mastery of scholarly sources, vigorous use of phenomenological method, and an interpretive theory that boldly challenges current projectionist approaches to ritual and religion. * William Paden, author of Religious Worlds: The Comparative Study of Religion *show more

About Kimberley Christine Patton

Kimberley C. Patton is Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at Harvard Divinity School. Her special fields are ancient Greek religion, archaeology, and iconography. She is the author of "The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils": Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean (forthcoming, 2006) and co-editor of and contributing author to A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in a Postmodern Age and Holy Tears: Weeping in the Religious more

Rating details

6 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 50% (3)
4 0% (0)
3 17% (1)
2 17% (1)
1 17% (1)
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