Theorizing Religion in Antiquity - Nickolas P. Roubekas

Theorizing Religion in Antiquity - Nickolas P. Roubekas

6. Impiety and Versions of Rationalization of Religion in Classical Greece

Theorizing Religion in Antiquity - Nickolas P. Roubekas

Emese Mogyoródi [+-]
University of Szeged, Hungary
Emese Mogyoródi is Associate Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Szeged, Hungary. Her fields of interest include presocratic philosophy, Socrates, Plato’s ethics and political philosophy, and moral psychological and theological issues in archaic and classical Greek thought. She has been granted the fellowship of the Center for Hellenic Studies (2003/2004) and the National Humanities Center (2012/2013). Her most recent book is a collection of essays entitled Achilles and Socrates: Moral Psychology and Political Philosophy in the Archaic and Classical Age of the Greeks (in Hungarian).

Description

In Classical Greece some thinkers (Critias, Prodicus, Democritus) formulated theories about the origins of religion and/or the gods that accounted for religious belief in terms that today qualify as ‟reductionist” explanations. None of these theories represented a direct attack on Greek religion nor propounded explicit atheism, nonetheless for one reason or another they did imply a challenge to traditional religious sentiment. This essay explores the theoretical implications of these theories and argues that it was not because of their atheism that they provoked religious sentiment, but because they accounted for religious belief in terms of some ideological function. Traditional Greek religion, however, was distinctly non-ideological in many ways. Reductionist theories of the Greek Enlightenment resulted from the projection of a reductive conception of the human-human and the human-divine relationship onto Greek religion that misrepresented fundamental aspects of Greek piety.

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Citation

Mogyoródi , Emese. 6. Impiety and Versions of Rationalization of Religion in Classical Greece. Theorizing Religion in Antiquity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 103-128 May 2019. ISBN 9781781793572. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=27966. Date accessed: 17 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27966. May 2019

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