Imagine No Religion: How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient Realities by Carlin  A. BartonImagine No Religion: How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient Realities by Carlin  A. Barton

Imagine No Religion: How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient Realities

byCarlin A. Barton, Daniel Boyarin

Paperback | October 3, 2016

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What do we fail to see when we force other, earlier cultures into the Procrustean bed of concepts that organize our contemporary world? In Imagine No Religion, Carlin A. Barton and Daniel Boyarin map the myriad meanings of the Latin and Greek words religio and threskeia, frequently and reductively mistranslated as "religion," in order to explore the manifold nuances of their uses within ancient Roman and Greek societies. In doing so, they reveal how we can conceptualize anew and speak of these cultures without invoking the anachronistic concept of religion. From Plautus to Tertullian, Herodotus to Josephus, Imagine No Religion illuminates cultural complexities otherwise obscured by our modern-day categories.
Carlin A. Barton is Professor Emerita in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of The Sorrows of the Ancient Romans: The Gladiator and the Monster and Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones. Daniel Boyarin is Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture in the Departments of...
Title:Imagine No Religion: How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient RealitiesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.07 inPublished:October 3, 2016Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:082327120X

ISBN - 13:9780823271207

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Table of Contents

A Note on AuthorshipIntroduction: What You Can See When You Stop Lookingfor What Isn't There ReligioPart I. Mapping the Word1. Religio without "Religion"2. The Ciceronian TurnPart II. Case Study: Tertullian3. Preface to Tertullian4. Segregated by a Perfect Fear5. Segregated by a Perfect Fear. The Terrible War Band of theAnti- Emperor: The Coniuratio and the Sacramentum6. Governed by a Perfect Fear7. Precarious Integration. Managing the Fears of the Romans:Tertullian on TenterhooksThreskeiaPart I. Mapping the Word8. Imagine No Threskeia: The Task of the Untranslator9. The Threskeia of the Judaeans: Josephus and the New TestamentPart II. Case Study: Josephus10. Josephus without Judaism: Nomos, Eusebeia, Threskeia11. A Jewish Actor in the Audience: Josephan Doublespeak12. A Glance at the Future: Threskeia and the Lit er a ture of Apologetic,First to Third Centuries c.e. Conclusion: What You Find When You Stop Lookingfor What Isn't There AcknowledgmentsNotesBibliographyIndex of Ancient TextsGeneral Index

Editorial Reviews

If, as recent scholarship suggests, ancient Romans did not have an idea of a distinctly "religious" sphere of life, what are we to do with those words in our sources that are generally translated as "religion," namely the Latin religio and the Greek threskeia? Adequately answering this question demands a back-to-basics lexical approach that carefully re-examines usages of these words in their ancient contexts. The rich fruits of such labor are on full display in Barton and Boyarin's Imagine No Religion, which pushes well beyond the simple observation that "Romans had no religion." Through in-depth studies of religio, threskeia, and related concepts, Barton and Boyarin shed new light on the fascinating transformations of these words in the shadow of Roman imperial power. One need not agree with all of its provocative conclusions in order to recognize that Imagine No Religion is now the definitive starting point for the reevaluation of these crucial terms.