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CL101 - October 23, 2012.doc

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Nirmal Dass

October 23, 2012 looking at 5 century ideas and cultural expressions Ancient Greece doesnt have a proper religion What is religion? Religion is a structure that allows us/gives us explanations about why we live the ay we do, and n religion and science – both are structures to explain the same things So when we look to Ancient Greece, they're missing this structure – Greek philosophy will fill that void – not concerned with explanations Anthropological view: cannot defineAncient Greece with religion? Expressions of belief: rituals and myths Myth: a set of ideas that are important to a community (essential ideas); cannot be equated with allegories, seasons ^in the ancient Greek mind, myths had no lessons – no morality offered The gods do not inhabit the religion world – they inhabit a diff. World and exhibit a diff. Purpose for the ancient world (can be used as a basis for other ancient cultures) How did the ancient Greeks look at this? - turn to rituals the use of rituals – an enactment of a primaeval act – does not worship on a set basis (no concept as the sunday worship service) – worship is totally absent – you do not have to do it to be a believing human- being concept of sacrifice comes in − the individual has no part in it, not about individual belief nor salvation (concept is absent in the ancient world) the soul is diff. When we talk about ancient Greek religion we're basically talking about rituals because we know that their community participated in mostly rituals, sacrifices, festivals Gods are often detached, can't turn to them or rely on them; not a structure for prayer rituals exist for the benefit of the community only, because by enacting rituals, they are directly communicating with the gods for the community? The idea of sacrifice – not about gift giving/transaction/exchange what we're dealing with: the concept that there is something inherent in life in the way life is structured (animal, plants) that an unknown can direct the process when an animal is sacrificed not in order to change the future but rather to ensure the structure of the community will continue because we are enforcing it with more 'life' – the greater the community strengthens. This is why the ancient community is regularly sacrificing. Brings the talk about the notion of life – life force is a very vibrant, and essential around the Greeks, there are many different types of human sacrifices (ie. Pheonicans andAztecs) cannot soften up on sacrifice otherwise community will fall a part (it is not bribery to the god nor is it gift giving) Concept of Blood - rituals – enactment of primaeval act what do we do with the animal blood? What does blood do? Why is there so much focus on this concept? Behaviour – controlled violence; must slit a thro
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