The introduction sets the study of Greek religion in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany and Britain in its historical context. It provides a brief overview of the main methods of interpretation of the Greek gods from antiquity onwards and looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century developments such as the idealization of Greece or the professionalization of Classics and their implications for the study of Greek religion. It also draws attention to key aspects of the theological background of the period. Moreover, it discusses a major episode in early nineteenth-century scholarship, the debate between Creuzer and his rationalist critics and considers its importance for the subsequent study of Greek religion in Germany and Britain
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