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Religion of the GodsRitual, Paradox, and Reflexivity$
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Kimberley Christine Patton

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195091069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195091069.001.0001

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 The Problem Defined and a Proposed Solution: Divine Reflexivity in Ritual Representation

 The Problem Defined and a Proposed Solution: Divine Reflexivity in Ritual Representation

Chapter:
(p.161) 5 The Problem Defined and a Proposed Solution: Divine Reflexivity in Ritual Representation
Source:
Religion of the Gods
Author(s):

Kimberley Christine Patton (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195091069.003.0007

This chapter addresses the intellectual reasons for why the Greek god with libation bowl in hand has been so problematic. It analyzes the common theoretical stumbling blocks observed in the secondary literature, both religionist and archaeological. It then suggests a workable theoretical solution, based on an ancient Greek understanding of the relationship between their gods and their practiced religion. The chapter goes on to present a new descriptive category, “divine reflexivity,” which can dissolve some of the previous hermeneutical obstacles, in that it comprises rather than avoids paradox, and allows religious worlds both self-referential and self-organizing potentials. Seven characteristics that are the signifying characteristics of divine reflexivity are discussed.

Keywords:   Greek gods, libation bowl, divine reflexivity, worship

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