From Jupiter to Christ: The History of Religion in the Roman Imperial Period

Hardcover | August 5, 2014

byJorg Rupke

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The history of Roman imperial religion is of fundamental importance to the history of religion in Europe. Emerging from a decade of research, From Jupiter to Christ demonstrates that the decisive change within the Roman imperial period was not a growing number of religions or changes in theirranking and success, but a modification of the idea of "religion" and a change in the social place of religious practices and beliefs. Religion is shown to be transformed from a medium serving the individual necessities - dealing with human contingencies like sickness, insecurity, and death - and amedium serving the public formation of political identity, into an encompassing system of ways of life, group identities, and political legitimation.Instead of offering an encyclopaedic presentation of religious beliefs, symbols, and practices throughout the period, the volume thematically presents the media that manifested and diffused religion (institutions, texts, and law), and analyses representative cases. It asks how religion changed inprocesses of diffusion and immigration, how fast (or how slow) practices and institutions were appropriated and modified, and reveals how these changes made Roman religion "exportable", creating those forms of intellectualisation and enscripturation which made religion an autonomous area, differentfrom other social fields.

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The history of Roman imperial religion is of fundamental importance to the history of religion in Europe. Emerging from a decade of research, From Jupiter to Christ demonstrates that the decisive change within the Roman imperial period was not a growing number of religions or changes in theirranking and success, but a modification of t...

Jorg Rupke is a Fellow in Religious Studies at the Max Weber Centre, University of Erfurt.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:August 5, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198703724

ISBN - 13:9780198703723

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPart 1Introduction1. "Globalization" as a model for individual religious creativity in the Roman Imperial Age2. Integration and transformation of an immigrant religion: observations on the inscriptions of the Jupiter Dolichenus cult in Rome3. A Judaeo-Christian variant of professional religion in Rome: The Shepherd of Hermas4. Organisational patterns in respect of religious specialists in a range of Roman cultsPart 2Introduction5. The rise of provincial religion6. Religion in the lex Ursonensis7. The export of calendars and festivals in the Roman Empire8. Book religions as imperial religions? The local limits of supra-regional religious communicationPart 3Introduction9. Polytheism and pluralism: Observations on religious competition in the Roman Imperial Age10. Religious pluralism and the Roman Empire11. Representations of Roman religion in Christian Apologetic texts12. Religious centralization: Traditional priesthoods and the role of the pontifex maximus in the Late Imperial Age13. Visual worlds and religious boundaries14. How does an empire change religion, and how religion an empire? Conclusion and perspectives regarding the question of "Imperial and provincial religion"BibliographyIndex