Abstract and Keywords
Religion and community were deeply intertwined in ancient Greece. On the one hand, Greek religion was, to a very significant extent, communal; the overwhelming majority of cultic and ritual acts took place in various communal contexts. Public and private religious communities were not static and self-enclosed entities; they were involved in a continuous process of formation, transformation, and dissolution. On the other hand, almost all forms of Greek community had a religious basis, in addition to any other features. The absence of a Church as a separate institution meant that Greek communities had direct control over their religious affairs; it also meant that religion suffused all aspects of communal life. Religion presented a potent means for creating social cohesion and the articulation of communal identities; but it also constituted an arena in which conflicting visions of relationships among humans and between humans and gods were continuously expressed and contested.
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.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.