The passionate intellect : essays on the transformation of classical traditions : presented to Professor I.G. Kidd 


Ayres, Lewis., Kidd, I. G., 1995


Ian Kidd, of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, has long been known as a world-class scholar of ancient philosophy and of Posidonius, in particular. Through his long struggle with the fragments of Posidonius, Kidd has done more than any other scholar of ancient philosophy to dispel the myth of « Pan-Posidonianism. » He has presented a clearer picture of the Posidonius to whom we may have access. The bulk of this volume is built around the theme of Kidd’s own inaugural lecture at St. Andrews, « The Passionate Intellect. » Many of the contributions follow this theme through by examining how individual people and texts influenced the direction of various traditions. Many of the papers naturally concentrate on ancient philosophy and its legacy. Others deal with ancient literary theory, history, poetry, and drama. Most of the papers deal with their subjects at some length and are significant contributions in their own right.

(Text by the editor)


Table of Contents:


Bibliography of I.G. Kidd

Greeks and the Passionate Intellect – Ian Kidd

  1. Poetic Rhythms in the Myth of the Soul – Kenneth J. Dover
  2. Plato, Imagination and Romanticism – S. Halliwell
  3. Tradition and Innovation in the Transformation of Socrates’ Divine Sign – Mark Joyal
  4. [actual symbol not reproducible] in Plato’s Cratylus – David B. Robinson
  5. Counting Plato’s Principles – R. W. Sharples
  6. Pindar and the Victory Ode – Chris Carey
  7. Euripides: Ion and Phoenissae – Elizabeth M. Craik
  8. Roman Mind and the Power of Fiction – J. S. Richardson
  9. Did Thucydides Write for Readers or Hearers? – Shigetake Yaginuma
  10. Aenesidemus versus Pyrrho: Il fuoco scalda « per natura » (Sextus M. VIII 215 e XI 69) – Fernanda Decleva Caizzi
  11. Theophrastus, no. 84 FHS&G: There’s Nothing New Here! – William W. Fortenbaugh
  12. Alexandria, Syene, Meroe: Symmetry in Eratosthenes’ Measurement of the World – A. S. Gratwick
  13. Seneca’s Natural Questions – Changing Readerships – Harry M. Hine
  14. Crates of Mallos, Dionysius Thrax and the Tradition of Stoic Grammatical Theory – Richard Janko
  15. Aenesidemus and the Academics – Jaap Mansfeld
  16. Pathology of Ps.-Hippocrates, On Ancient Medicine – Robin Waterfield
  17. Discipline of Self-knowledge in Augustine’s De trinitate Book X – Lewis Ayres
  18. Melanchthon’s First Manual on Rhetorical Categories in Criticism of the Bible – C. J. Classen
  19. « A Kind of Warmth »: Some Reflections on the Concept of « Grace » in the Neoplatonic Tradition – John Dillon
  20. Ausonius at Prayer – R. P. H. Green
  21. Philosophy of the Codification of Law in Fifth Century Constantinople and Victorian Edinburgh – Jill Harries

Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition

Edited by Robert M. Berchman (Foro di Studi Avanzati Gaetano Massa. Roma and Bard College) and John. F. Finamore (University of Iowa).


Originally conceived, the series (2011 – ) covers studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition, which means it covers ancient philosophy in general but also the tradition in its medieval, modern, and post-modern « horizons. » This means that the subseries publishes works, historically and thematically, across the whole « Platonic tradition. »

(Text by the organizers)




Neoplatonic Demons and Angels – Editor(s): Luc Brisson, Seamus O’Neilland Andrei Timotin

Platonic Theories of Prayer – Editor(s): John M. Dillonand Andrei Timotin

Athenian and Alexandrian Neoplatonism and the Harmonization of Aristotle and Plato – By: Ilsetraut Hadot

Thinking Being: Introduction to Metaphysics in the Classical Tradition – By: Eric Perl

Being Different: More Neoplatonism after Derrida – By: Stephen E. Gersh

Studies on Plato, Aristotle and Proclus – The Collected Essays on Ancient Philosophy of John Cleary – By: John J. Cleary

Editor(s): John M. Dillon, Brendan O’Byrne and Fran O’Rourke

Plutarch in the Religious and Philosophical Discourse of Late Antiquity – Editor(s): Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta and Israel Muñoz Gallarte

Iamblichus and the Foundations of Late Platonism – Editor(s): Eugene V. Afonasin, John M. Dillon and John Finamore

Death and Immortality in Late Neoplatonism – Studies on the Ancient Commentaries on Plato’s Phaedo – By: Sebastian Ramon Philipp Gertz

Plotinus in Dialogue with the Gnostics – By: Jean-Marc Narbonne

The Teachings of Syrianus on Plato’sTimaeus andParmenides – By: Sarah Klitenic Wear

The Afterlife of the Platonic Soul – Reflections of Platonic Psychology in the Monotheistic Religions – Editor(s): Maha El-Kaisy and John Dillon

The Commentary of al-Nayrizi on Books II-IV of Euclid’sElements of Geometry – With a Translation of That Portion of Book I Missing from MS Leiden Or. 399.1 but Present in the Newly Discovered Qom Manuscript Edited by Rüdiger Arnzen – By: Anthony Lo Bello

The Enigmatic Reality of Time – Aristotle, Plotinus, and Today – By: Michael Wagner

Die Übersetzungen derElementatio Theologicades Proklos und Ihre Bedeutung für den Proklostext – By: Hans-Christian Günther

Order From Disorder. Proclus’ Doctrine of Evil and its Roots in Ancient Platonism – By: John Phillips

Platonisms: Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern – Editor(s): Kevin Corrigan and John Turner

Neoplatonism after Derrida – Parallelograms – By: Stephen Gersh

The Syntax of Time – The Phenomenology of Time in Greek Physics and Speculative Logic from Iamblichus to Anaximander – By: Peter Manchester

Porphyry Against the Christians – By: Robert Berchman

Reading Plotinus: A Practical Introduction to Neoplatonism

by Kevin Corrigan  (Author), 2004


This book provides a practical reading guide to the thought of Plotinus, the great philosopher who was born in Alexandria in the third century a.d., lived in Rome and wrote in Greek. Deeply immersed in earlier Greek philosophy, especially Plato and Aristotle, Plotinus’ thought was to have an immense influence upon the theology and philosophy of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as to bear a deep resonance with the major forms of Eastern mystical thought, particularly Buddhism and Hinduism. At the same time, Plotinus’ philosophy remains unique in its own right. Corrigan’s work presents, in an accessible and yet authoritative way, three treatises translated in full, as well as several other major passages representative of the wide range of thought to be found in Plotinus’ Enneads. There is extensive and detailed commentary accompanying each translation, which helps the reader to work his or her way through Plotinus’ often highly compressed thought. The concluding chapter draws together the practical and theoretical significance of Plotinus’ writings and situates them in an accessible manner for both first-time reader and scholar alike within the subsequent vast history of Neoplatonism which extends through the Mediaeval and Renaissance worlds and right into modern times. This book is intended to be of use for anyone who wants to read and understand Plotinus, non-specialists and specialists, and it will be particularly helpful for students and scholars of philosophy, history of ideas, aesthetic theory, and literature and religious thought, both Western and Eastern.

(Text by the author)




List of Enneads



Chapter 1: An Overview of Plotinus’ Thought


  1. The hypostases and our relation to them: V, 1 (10) 10-12
  2. Tracing degrees of unity back to the One. The nature of body, soul, and intellect, and the return to the One: VI, 9 (9) 1-3
  3. The derivation of everything (from intellect to matter): IV, 8(6); V, 2(11) 1,3-28
  4. The nature of intellect and soul, and soul’s relation to bodies: IV, 1 (21)
  5. World soul and individual souls: IV, 3 (27) 6
  6. The descent and fall of soul: IV, 8 (5) 5
  7. Matter: II, 5 (25) 5
  8. Bodiliness: II, 7 (37) 3
  9. Soul-body: The human being here: VI, 7 (38) 4-5
  10. Eternity and time: III, 7 (45) 11


1.1 The hypostases

1.2 Free spontaneous creativity: The One

1.3 The derivation of all things: Procession and conversion

1.4 The return to union

1.5 Intellect

1.6 Soul and the sensible world

1.7 The World soul and individual souls

1.8 Soul-body

1.9 Providence, freedom, and matter

1.10 The generation of matter

1.11 The descent and fall of soul

1.12 Nature, contemplation, eternity, and time

1.13 Plotinus, the reader

Chapter 2: Plotinus’ Anthropology


I, 1 (53): What Is the Living Creature and What Is the Human Being?


2.1 Introduction

2.2 What does Plotinus mean by the impassibility or unaffectedness of soul? (I, 1 [53] 2 and III 6 [26])

2.3 Do “we” really perceive and do we perceive directly or mediately? (I, 1 (53) 3-7 and other texts)

2.4 Do we perceive things or our impressions of things?

2.5 How do the affections fit into the overall picture?

2.6 Soul-body and beyond (I, 1, 4-7)

Chapter 3: The range of Plotinus’ thought: From nature and contemplation to the One


III, 8 (30): On Nature and Contemplation and the One


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Play

3.3 Contemplation, action and production: The problem

3.4 An animated, freely dependent world (1, 11 ff.)

3.5 Activity ( energeia ) and power ( dynamis )

3.6 Nature (III, 8, 2)

3.7 Logos and Zogo/’-brothers (III, 8, 2, 27-35)

3.8 Matter: From Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics to Plotinus

3.9 Logos and action, a way of understanding Neoplatonic contemplative production (III, 8, 3)

3.10 The silent speech of nature (III, 8, 4)

3.11 Synaesthesis (III, 4, 15 ff.)

3.12 The nature of images and productive art: Plato and Plotinus (III, 8, 4, 39 ff.)

3.13 The problem of degrees of reality: Filling and being filled (III, 8, 4-5)

3.14 The landscape of soul (III, 8, 5)

3.15 Love and beauty (III, 8, 5, 34 ff.)

3.16 Walk-about, bending back, and trust (III, 8, 6)

3.17 The dialectic of play and seriousness: From the inertia of indifference to kinship of soul (III, 8, 6, 15 ff.)

3.18 Plotinus’ theory of creation in context (III, 8, 7, 1-15)

3.19 The problem of intellect (III, 8, 8)

3.20 Four puzzles: From the drunken circle to haphazard heap (III, 8, 8, 30-48)

3.21 The problem of substance in the Enneads

3.22 Speaking about the One: The character of a simplicity beyond intellect

3.23 Infinity and number (III, 8, 9, 1-6)

3.24 Neither intellect nor intelligible object nor ignorant (III, 8, 9, 6-16)

3.25 Simple, instantaneous awareness (III, 8, 9, 16-24)

3.26 Sound and omnipresence (III, 8, 9, 24-29)

3.27 A “backward” intellect (III, 8, 9, 29 ff.)

3.28 A power for all things (III, 8, 10, 1-26)

3.29 Negative theology and dialectic (III, 8, 10, 26-35)

3.30 The simplicity and playfulness of the image (III, 8, 11)

3.31 Conclusion: Some answers to frequently asked questions about Plotinian Neoplatonism

Chapter 4: A world of beauty, from beautiful things to intelligible shapelessness


V, 8 (31): On the Intelligible Beauty Commentary

4.1 Introduction: The importance and major issues of V, 8

4.2 What does “the beautiful” mean?

4.3 Why is good proportion and structure not “the beautiful”?

4.4 Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

4.5 What is the beauty of art? (V, 8, 1-2)

4.6 Why is intelligible beauty bound up with the perception of natural things? (V, 8, 2)

4.7 How are beauty, science, and wisdom related?

4.8 The Form of the beautiful?

4.9 Intelligible beauty and concrete physical things (V, 8, 4-8)

4.10 Elements of a reflexive aesthetic theory (V, 8, 1-11)

4.11 How does evil fit into this picture? (V, 8, 11)

4.12 The limitations of beauty: What role does the One play?

Chapter 5: Conclusion: Assessment and Afterlife

5.1 Assessment

5.2 Afterlife

Appendix A: Some key passages from Plato and Aristotle

Appendix B: Suggestions for further reading


Index of Names

Index of Subjects


The Making of Fornication: Eros, Ethics, and Political Reform in Greek Philosophy and Early Christianity

Kathy L. Gaca (Author), 2003


This provocative work provides a radical reassessment of the emergence and nature of Christian sexual morality, the dominant moral paradigm in Western society since late antiquity. While many scholars, including Michel Foucault, have found the basis of early Christian sexual restrictions in Greek ethics and political philosophy, Kathy L. Gaca demonstrates on compelling new grounds that it is misguided to regard Greek ethics and political theory—with their proposed reforms of eroticism, the family, and civic order—as the foundation of Christian sexual austerity. Rather, in this thoroughly informed and wide-ranging study, Gaca shows that early Christian goals to eradicate fornication were derived from the sexual rules and poetic norms of the Septuagint, or Greek Bible, and that early Christian writers adapted these rules and norms in ways that reveal fascinating insights into the distinctive and largely non-philosophical character of Christian sexual morality.

Writing with an authoritative command of both Greek philosophy and early Christian writings, Gaca investigates Plato, the Stoics, the Pythagoreans, Philo of Alexandria, the apostle Paul, and the patristic Christians Clement of Alexandria, Tatian, and Epiphanes, freshly elucidating their ideas on sexual reform with precision, depth, and originality. Early Christian writers, she demonstrates, transformed all that they borrowed from Greek ethics and political philosophy to launch innovative programs against fornication that were inimical to Greek cultural mores, popular and philosophical alike. The Septuagint’s mandate to worship the Lord alone among all gods led to a Christian program to revolutionize Gentile sexual practices, only for early Christians to find this virtually impossible to carry out without going to extremes of sexual renunciation.

Knowledgeable and wide-ranging, this work of intellectual history and ethics cogently demonstrates why early Christian sexual restrictions took such repressive ascetic forms and cast a sobering light on what Christian sexual morality has meant for religious pluralism in Western culture, especially among women as its bearers.

(Text by the author)




1. Introduction: Ancient Greek Sexual Blueprints for Social Order

Part I. Greek Philosophical Sexual Reforms
2. Desire’s Hunger and Plato the Regulator
3. Crafting Eros through the Stoic Logos of Nature
4. The Reproductive Technology of the Pythagoreans

Part II. Greek Biblical Sexual Rules and Their Reworking by Paul and Philo
5. Rival Plans for God’s Sexual Program in the Pentateuch and Paul
6. From the Prophets to Paul: Converting Whore Culture into the Lord’s Veiled Bride
7. Philo’s Reproductive City of God

Part III. Patristic Transformations of the Philosophical, Pauline, and Philonic Rules
8. Driving Aphrodite from the World: Tatian and His Encratite Argument
9. Prophylactic Grace in Clement’s Emergent Church Sexual Ethic
10. The Fornicating Justice of Epiphanes
11. Conclusion: The Demise of Greek Eros and Reproduction


Epékeina tes philosophia. L´eticità del filosofare in Plotino

Catapano Giovanni, 05/1995


La monografia studia il giudizio di Plotino circa il valore etico della filosofia. I primi cinque capitoli hanno l’obiettivo di individuare il criterio generale di moralità di Plotino, attraverso l’esame della sua nozione di felicità, della sua concezione dell’uomo, della sua teoria delle virtù, della sua dottrina del Nous divino e della sua mistica. La conclusione dei primi cinque capitoli è che, secondo Plotino, in ultima analisi è moralmente buono tutto ciò che aiuta a pensare, mentre è moralmente cattivo tutto ciò che lo impedisce. I capitoli sesto e settimo studiano il concetto plotiniano di filosofia, mediante l’analisi delle occorrenze dei termini appartenenti alla famiglia lessicale di ‘philosophía’ e del trattato «Sulla dialettica». Il capitolo ottavo applica il criterio plotiniano di moralità all’idea plotiniana della filosofia, e giunge alla conclusione che secondo Plotino la filosofia è l’attività moralmente migliore che si possa compiere, ma deve essere alla fine anch’essa trascesa per consentire l’unione mistica con l’Uno. Il volume è corredato di un indice dei luoghi e di due indici dei nomi.

(Text by the author)


Table of Contents





  1. – Introduzione
  2. – L’essenza della felicità e la sua possibilità per l’uomo
  3. – Le caratteristiche dell’uomo felice
  4. – Problemi aperti


  1. – Anima e corpo nel composto umano
  2. – La “caduta” dell’anima e la possibilità della risalita
  3. – L’“io”
  4. – Ragione discorsiva e intelligenza
  5. – Intelligenza umana e Intelligenza divina
  6. – Il “risveglio” dell’intelligenza
  7. – Conclusioni


  1. – Introduzione
  2. – L’“assimilazione a Dio”
  3. – Virtù civili e virtù superiori
  4. – Virtù superiore e purificazione
  5. – Virtù nell’anima e virtù nell’Intelligenza
  6. – «Praxis» e «theoria»: Aristotele e Plotino
  7. – La «phronesis»
  8. – Conclusioni


  1. – Introduzione
  2. – L’Intelligenza vive
  3. – La vita dell’Intelligenza
  4. – Dall’Intelligenza all’Uno
  5. – Conclusioni


  1. – Introduzione
  2. – Una duplice mistica
  3. – La mistica dell’Intelligenza: bellezza e reminiscenza
  4. – La mistica dell’Intelligenza: ragione discorsiva, intelligenza e autoconoscenza
  5. – La mistica dell’Intelligenza: la contemplazione
  6. – La mistica dell’Uno: la mediazione dell’Intelligenza
  7. – La mistica dell’Uno: il superamento dell’Intelligenza
  8. – La felicità raggiunta
  9. – Conclusione: il criterio plotiniano di moralità


  1. – Introduzione
  2. – «Philosophein»
  3. – «Philosophia»
  4. – «Philosophos»
  5. – Conclusioni


  1. – Introduzione
  2. – Il “duplice viaggio” della dialettica
  3. – La natura della dialettica
  4. – Dialettica e logica
  5. – Dialettica e virtù
  6. – Conclusioni


  1. – Introduzione
  2. – Filosofare e virtù civili
  3. – Filosofare e purificazione
  4. – Filosofare e virtù superiori
  5. – Filosofare, ragionare e pensare
  6. – Filosofare e unione mistica
  7. – Filosofare: scelta o destino?
  8. – Una vita filosofica




Indice dei luoghi

Indice dei nomi antichi e medievali

Indice dei nomi moderni

Philosophy in Late Antiquity 

by Andrew Smith  (Author), 2004


One of the most significant cultural achievements of Late Antiquity lies in the domains of philosophy and religion, more particularly in the establishment and development of Neoplatonism as one of the chief vehicles of thought and subsequent channel for the transmission of ancient philosophy to the medieval and renaissance worlds. Important, too, is the emergence of a distinctive Christian philosophy and theology based on a foundation of Greek pagan thought. This book provides an introduction to the main ideas of Neoplatonism and some of the ways in which they influenced Christian thinkers.

(Text by the author)





Setting the agenda: The philosophy of Plotinus


1 The individual

2 The One

3 Intellect

4 Soul, the universe and matter

5 The return of the soul


PART II The diffusion of Neoplatonism

6 Philosophy and religion

7 The development of Neoplatonism

8 Christianity and Neoplatonism



Suggestions for further reading


Philosophie und Religion
Jens Halfwassen (Hg.), Markus Gabriel (Hg.), Stephan Zimmermann (Hg.), 2011


Gegenwärtig läßt sich eine Renaissance der Metaphysik diagnostizieren. Dabei wird naturgemäß auch die Frage nach dem Verhältnis von Philosophie und Religion neu aufgeworfen. Seit ihren frühesten Anfängen setzt sich die Philosophie mit der Religion auseinander, in der sie teils konkurrierende Wahrheitsansprüche, teils aber auch komplementäre Einsichten vermutet hat. Der vorliegende Band untersucht das Verhältnis von Philosophie und Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

(Text by the organizers)





AXEL HUTTER: Die Verwandtschaft von Philosophie und Religion. Erinnerung an ein verdrängtes Sachproblem

JAN ASSMANN: Der allumfassende und der persönlich e Gott in philosophischen’ Hymnen der altägyptischen Theologie

JOSE PEDRO SERRA: Tragedy and Mythology: Aeschylus and the Oresteia

CARLOS JOÃO CORREIA: The Self and the Void


MARKUS ENDERS: Gott und die Übel in dieser Welt. Zum Projekt einer philosophischen Rechtfertigung Gottes (Theodizee) bei Leibniz und Kant

JÜRGEN STOLZENBERG: Religiöses Bewußtsein nach Kant. Fichte und Friedrich von Hardenberg

GÜNTER ZÖLLER: „Die beiden Grundprincipien der Menschheit ». Glaube und Verstand in Fichtes später Staatsphilosophie

KATIA HAY: Die „unerwartete Harmonie ». Differenzen und Analogien zwischen Philosophie und Religion in Schellings Denken

MARKUS GABRIEL: „Die allgemeine Notwendigkeit der Sünde und des Todes ». Leben und Tod in Schellings Freiheitsschrift

JENS HALFWASSEN: Metaphysik im Mythos. Zu Schellings Philosophie der Mythologie

PAULO BORGES: From God, « the only perfect atheist », to the « masquerade ball » of creation in Teixeira de Pascoaes

CRISTINA BECKERT: The Ambiguity of God in Levinas

STEPHAN ZIMMERMANN: Zum gesellschaftstheoretischen Religionsbegriff von Niklas Luhmann

FRIEDRICH HERMANNI: Gottesgedanke und menschliche Freiheit

The Philosopher and Society in Late Antiquity : Essays in honour of Peter Brown

Brown, P. R. L., Smith, A., Alt, K., 2005


The philosophers of Late Antiquity have sometimes appeared to be estranged from society. ‘We must flee everything physical’ is one of the most prominent ideas taken by Augustine from Platonic literature. This collection of new studies by leading writers on Late Antiquity treats both the principles of metaphysics and the practical engagement of philosophers. It points to a more substantive and complex involvement in worldly affairs than conventional handbooks admit.

(Text by the editors)


Table of Contents:

Introduction – Andrew Smith

  1. Philosophy as a profession in late antiquity – John Dillon
  2. Movers and shakers – Robin Lane Fox
  3. The social concern of the Plotinian sage – Alexandrine Schniewind
  4. Action and contemplation in Plotinus – Andrew Smith
  5. Man and daimones : do the daimones influence man’s life? – Karin Alt
  6. A Neoplatonist ethics for high-level officials : Sopatros’ letter to Himerios – Dominic J. O’Meara
  7. Live unnoticed! : the invisible Neoplatonic politician – Robert van den Berg
  8. Apamea and the Chaldaean Oracles : a holy city and a holy book – Polymnia Athanassiadi
  9. Sages, cities and temples : aspects of late antique pythagorism? – Garth Fowden
  10. Asceticism and administration in the life of St. John Chrysostom – Aideen Hartney
  11. Where Greeks and Christians meet : two incidents in Panopolis and Gaza – Mark Edwards
  12. Divine names and sordid deals in Ammonius’ Alexandria – Richard Sorabji
  13. An Alexandrian Christian response to fifth-century Neoplatonic influence – Edward Watts
  14. Appendix : Harran, the Sabians and the late Platonist ‘movers’ – Robin Lane Fox.


Relating Religion




One of the most influential theorists of religion, Jonathan Z. Smith is best known for his analyses of religious studies as a discipline and for his advocacy and refinement of comparison as the basis for the history of religions. Relating Religion gathers seventeen essays—four of them never before published—that together provide the first broad overview of Smith’s thinking since his seminal 1982 book, Imagining Religion.

Smith first explains how he was drawn to the study of religion, outlines his own theoretical commitments, and draws the connections between his thinking and his concerns for general education. He then engages several figures and traditions that serve to define his interests within the larger setting of the discipline. The essays that follow consider the role of taxonomy and classification in the study of religion, the construction of difference, and the procedures of generalization and redescription that Smith takes to be key to the comparative enterprise. The final essays deploy features of Smith’s most recent work, especially the notion of translation.

Heady, original, and provocative, Relating Religion is certain to be hailed as a landmark in the academic study and critical theory of religion.

(Text by the author)



  1. When the chips are down
    2. Acknowledgments : morphology and history in Mircea : Eliade’s Patterns in comparative religion (1949-1999), part 1 : the work and its contexts
    3. Acknowledgments : morphology and history in Mircea : Eliade’s Patterns in comparative religion (1949-1999), part 2 : the texture of the work
    4. The topography of the sacred
    5. Manna, mana everywhere and [actual symbol not reproducible]
    6. The domestication of sacrifice
    7. A matter of class : taxonomies of religion
    8. Religion, religions, religious
    9. Bible and religion
    10. Trading places
    11. Differential equations : on constructing the other
    12. What a difference a difference makes
    13. Close encounters of diverse kinds
    14. Here, there, and anywhere
    15. Re : Corinthians
    16. A twice-told tale : the history of the history of religions’ history
    17. God save this honourable court : religion and civic discourse
    App. Jonathan Z. Smith : publications, 1966-2003
Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities and the Religions of Late Antiquity

Jonathan Z. Z. Smith, 1990


In this major theoretical and methodological statement on the history of religions, Jonathan Z. Smith shows how convert apologetic agendas can dictate the course of comparative religious studies. As his example, Smith reviews four centuries of scholarship comparing early Christianities with religions of late Antiquity (especially the so-called mystery cults) and shows how this scholarship has been based upon an underlying Protestant-Catholic polemic. The result is a devastating critique of traditional New Testament scholarship, a redescription of early Christianities as religious traditions amenable to comparison, and a milestone in Smith’s controversial approach to comparative religious studies.

(Text by the author)



On the origin of origins

On comparison

On comparing words

On compating stories

On comparing settings