Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 10. nóv. 2015 - 304 síđur
How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities.
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... kind of deviation is seen as weird and remarkable. This view underpins the modernist mythology: the post-Enlightenment West is seen as exceptional, completely unlike anything else that has preceded it and unlike anything elsewhere in ...
... kind. One intriguing case tells, precisely, of a ritual ˇmalfunction˘ when someone refused to believe. In around 320 BC, a number of dedications were set up to the healing god Asclepius, near his shrine at Epidaurus (a small town in the ...
... kind of archaeology of religious skepticism. It is in part an attempt to excavate ancient atheism from underneath the rubble heaped on it by millennia of Christian opprobrium. But there is topsoil to dig through too, of a very different ...
... kind of mimetic adoption of others} technologies (for alphabetic writing is indeed a technology) is typical of Greek practice of the era. Greece was not ˇEuropean˘ in the sense that we understand the word today. It found itself in a ...
... kind of customs.˘ In lieu of any national unification, Greeks were held together solely by a sense (however fictitious) of common descent, and by shared religion and culture. Formal mechanisms reconciling all of this multiplicity were ...
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