Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Religion as a subject of research is a product of modern times. With monotheistic religions such as Christianity, it is thought of as an autonomous and self-referential system with a large degree of inner coherence and a binding theology. The Greeks, however, had no word for religion as an abstract category. Religion did not exist outside the contexts in which it was lived. Greek religion lacks the defining features of most modern religions. Classical scholars have frequently stressed the ‘alien quality’ of Greek religious beliefs and practices. The study of Greek religion requires its own interpretative framework. Greek religion is the religious outlook and rituals specific to Greek culture. Reservations about the model of Greek religion as ‘polis religion’ concern its value for studying developments beyond the classical period. To be sure, religion during the Hellenistic and Roman periods evolved from archaic and classical Greek religion.

Keywords: Greek religion, Christianity, Greek culture, theology, polis religion

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.