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Exploring Religion in Ancient Egypt

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3199-8
280 pages
December 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
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Description

Exploring Religion in Ancient Egypt offers a stimulating overview of the study of ancient Egyptian religion by examining research drawn from beyond the customary boundaries of Egyptology and shedding new light on entrenched assumptions.

  • Discusses the evolution of religion in ancient Egypt – a belief system that endured for 3,000 years
  • Dispels several modern preconceptions about ancient Egyptian religious practices
  • Reveals how people in ancient Egypt struggled to secure well-being in the present life and the afterlife
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Table of Contents

Preface vi

1 Belief without a Book 1

2 Finding the Sacred in Space and Time 38

3 Creating Sacred Space and Time: Temple Architecture and Festival 80

4 Chaos and Life: Forces of Creation and Destruction 110

5 Being Good: Doing, Saying, and Making Good Possible 150

6 Being Well 177

7 Attaining Eternal Life: Sustenance and Transformation 201

Bibliography 238

Index 256

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Author Information

Stephen Quirke is Professor of Egyptology in the Institute for Archaeology at University College London, and Curator at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. His books include The Cult of Ra: Sun-Worship in Ancient Egypt (2001), Egyptian Literature 1800 BC: Questions and Readings (2004), and Lahun: A Town in Egypt 1800 BC, and the History of its Landscape (2005).

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Reviews

“This book provides a new and rather different view of religious practice amongst the ancient Egyptians, drawing on an extensive range of texts, artefacts, contextual information, and anthropological approaches from outside Egypt.”  (Ancient Egypt, 1 April 2015)

"Quirke tells the story of Ancient Egyptian Religion as a mode of life and a reflective philosophy. A book rich in evidence, thoughtful and fresh in interpretation, courageous enough to give up the claim of answering every question—but eager to pose it.” –Martin Fitzenreiter, Bonn University

".....a uniquely comprehensive integration of archaeological and written evidence about Egyptian beliefs and practices; energized by ethnographic and anthropological perspectives, Quirke's book clarifies, yet queries key debates about Egyptian religion." –David O'Connor, New York University

“Quirke’s unique approach to Egyptian beliefs about creation, life, death, etc., uses the written and archaeological evidence to reveal the logic of ancient thought as it acquaints us with its ‘nuts and bolts.’” –Betsy Bryan, Johns Hopkins University

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