Based on primary sources, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of religious institutions, beliefs, and practices in the Graeco-Roman world from the fourth century B.C.E. to the fourth century C.E. Rather than focusing on Hellenistic religions as a backdrop for Christianity, the author composes a well-balanced portrait of the social and conceptual nature of these religions, presenting Christianity as one of the many religious alternatives that existed in that period. Covering hellenistic piety, the mystery cults, and the gnostic traditions, Martin provides an integrated view of Hellenistic religion as a coherent system of religious thought defined by shifting views of fate. He demonstrates the role of religion in two fundamental transformations of the Hellenistic world view--the change from the archaic to the Ptolemaic understanding of the universe and the shift in relative importance of masculine and feminine god-images--and concludes with a discussion of the impact of late Hellenistic religion on Christianity.
The only single volume to offer a comprehensive and interpretive framework for Hellenistic religions, this masterful survey is an indispensable resource for history, religion, and classics courses.
"A brief but very useful study..."---Booklist "Highly impressive study of Hellenistic religions....What we have in this slim volume is a extraordinary distillation of Martin's creative and finely honed thinking about a subject he loves and has been musing over for years. It is a valuable book, a pleasure to read, while at the same time a challenge to grasp and work through."--Critical Review "An excellent and much-needed survey."--Akmadam [sic], Eckerd College "An excellent introduction for undergraduates, especially those studying the history of religion; scholars will appreciate its many insights."--Classical World "A good, basic introduction to the subject....More up-to-date than any alternative...Excellent bibliographies...Recommended not only for introductory courses on ancient religion but also for the general reader as well."--Classical Bulletin "A useful overview for students and professors needing a quick fix on major Hellenistic philosophical and religious movements, and fun to read, with useful maps and bibliography."--David Soren, University of Arizona "Martin presents a useful introduction to the difficult world and belief systems of the Hellenistic age and his attempts to systematize it are perceptive and timely. Hellenistic Religions fulfills a long-standing need for a wide-ranging and thoughtful introduction to this important subject."--The Historian "A useful summary of the basic tenets of the major Hellenistic religions. A helpful introduction for students of the Bible."--Frank Thielman, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University "An excellent text for a course in Hellenistic history or ancient religion."--W. Jeffrey Tatum, Florida State University "This book achieves a good balance of evidence and theory/explanation, is well-written, and is historically perceptive. I plan to use it again."--Larry J. Alderink, Concordia College "This text is exquisitely suited for an introductory course--my students found it apt."--Larry J. Alderink, Concordia College "A comprehensive introduction to the philosophical, cosmological, and relgious beliefs that developed in the Hellenistic world....The work is a well-organized, well-written, long awaited introduction to complex materials. The selected bibliographies at the end of every chapter are valuable guides to further in-depth study. It should prove useful to students of history and religion, and to anyone interested in this period."--Religious Studies Review "An excellent synopsis. Perfectly suited to for introducing students to the essential religious dynamics of the New Testament world."--M. Robert Mulholland, Jr., Asbury Theological Seminary "Martin realizes his goal of providing undergraduates with a useful introduction and framework for further study....As a sourcebook...its strength is to be found in the systematically presented catalogue of topics and the chapter bibliographies of selected works in English."--Choice "Excellent, clear, concise, readable. Good bibliographies with each chapter. This can readily be used with primary sources to teach a stimulating course."--Gregory T. Armstrong, Sweet Briar College
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 19th November 1987
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.83 x 13.97 x 1.32
Weight (kg): 0.23