Rick Benitez and Harold Tarrant

in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion

Published in print October 2015 | ISBN: 9780199642038
Published online March 2016 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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This chapter reviews the philosophy and religion dialectic from the end of the sixth century BCE through the second century CE, focusing on theology, mythology, and personal religious experience. It suggests that the familiar philosophy–religion dichotomy has acquired some of its plausibility from scholars who misunderstand the nature of religion and draw their concept of ancient philosophy too narrowly. The chapter stresses instead the interrelation of philosophy and religion, with special attention to how some philosophers incorporated religious thought into their own views. The chapter argues that philosophers generally saw themselves as commending a modified understanding of their own religious heritage.

Keywords: nature; theology; philosophy and religion dialectic; mythology; religious experience

Article.  6710 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Religion in the Ancient World

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