7. The All as logikê thusia:The Egyptian Prehistory of a Hermetic Idea
Philosophy and the End of Sacrifice - Disengaging Ritual in Ancient India, Greece and Beyond - Peter Jackson
Jørgen Podemann Sørensen [+]
University of Copenhagen
Jørgen Podemann Sørensen is Associate professor in history of religions, University of Copenhagen, Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies. Podemann-Sørensen was educated as a historian of religions specialized in ancient Egyptian religion at the Universities of Aarhus and Copenhagen (promoted 1979). His primary fields of interest are the religions of Antiquity, especially ancient Egyptian religion and its contribution to the Gnostic and Hermetic currents of Late Antiquity and the comparative study of ritual. He has recently (2013) published a handbook on ancient Egyptian religious literature (with sample translations) and a book on the comparative study of ritual, both in Danish.
Jørgen Podemann Sørensen explores how sacrifice, in its capacity as a necessary subspecies of ritual, has informed both modern theories of religion, and the speculative responses of its indigenous performers. He does this by instigating a specific sacrificial logic. He compares the ethnographically documented bear ceremonialism among the Ainu of Hokkaido with the ancient Egyptian sacrifice of the goddess Maat. These examples serve to bring the radicalized Hermetic idea of spiritual sacrifice into the broader context of sacrificial speculation. He thereby demonstrates how the radicalized idea of sacrifice always depends on its more traditional mode, even when the latter may appear to have come to an end.