Idols and Their Critics

Clifford Ando

in The Matter of the Gods

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520250833
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933651 | DOI:
Idols and Their Critics

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  • Religion in the Ancient World


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Roman ritual and many strands of Roman religious literature situate the gods in this world, whether as recipients of cult or as inhabitants of particular spaces. This chapter explores the problem of theorizing the materiality of the gods and their susceptibility to representation through consideration of two strands in ancient philosophy: (1) the tenet of ancient theories of representation that required idols either to be or to represent the gods; and (2) the problem of matter — which is to say, what sort of thing a material god might be.

Keywords: Roman ritual; ritual; beliefs; gods; idols; materiality

Chapter.  8634 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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