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A Companion to the Archaeology of Religion in the Ancient World


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A Companion to the Archaeology of Religion in the Ancient World

Rubina Raja (Editor), Jörg Rüpke (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-35000-5 June 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 520 Pages

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A Companion to the Archaeology of Religion in the Ancient World presents a comprehensive overview of a wide range of topics relating to the practices, expressions, and interactions of religion in antiquity, primarily in the Greco-Roman world.

• Features readings that focus on religious experience and expression in the ancient world rather than solely on religious belief

• Places a strong emphasis on domestic and individual religious practice

• Represents the first time that the concept of “lived religion” is applied to the ancient history of religion and archaeology of religion

• Includes cutting-edge data taken from top contemporary researchers and theorists in the field

• Examines a large variety of themes and religious traditions across a wide geographical area and chronological span

• Written to appeal equally to archaeologists and historians of religion


Notes on Contributors viii

Abbreviations xii

1 Archaeology of Religion, Material Religion, and the Ancient World 1
Rubina Raja and Jörg Rüpke

Part I Archaeology of Ritual 27

2 The Archaeology of Ancient Sanctuaries 29
William Van Andringa

3 Ritual Activities, Processions and Pilgrimages 41
Thierry Luginbühl

4 Perpetuated Action 60
Lara Weiss

5 Public and Private 71
Robert Parker

Part II Embodiment 81

6 Amulets 83
Gideon Bohak

7 Dress and Ornaments 96
Laura Gawlinski

8 Dance 107
Frederick Naerebout

9 Gendered Agents and Embodied Religious Experience 120
Zsuzsanna Várhelyi

Part III Experiences 131

10 Polychromy and Jewish Visual Culture of Roman Antiquity 133
Steven Fine

11 Watching Rituals 144
Valérie Huet

12 Killing and Preparing Animals 155
Patrice Méniel

13 Communal Dining: Making Things Happen 167
Marleen Martens

14 WATER 181
Olivier de Cazanove

15 Temporary Deprivation: Rules and Meanings 194
Richard Gordon

Part IV Creating spaces of experiences 207

16 At Home 209
Kimberly Bowes

17 Gardens 220
Richard Neudecker

18 Religion and Tomb 235
Henner von Hesberg, Christiane Nowak and Ellen Thiermann

Part V Designing and Appropriating Sacred Space 251

19 Archaeology of Christian Initiation 253
Robin M. Jensen

20 Oracular Shrines as Places of Religious Experience 268
Julia Kindt

21 Buildings of Religious Communities 279
Inge Nielsen

22 Sanctuaries and Urban Spatial Settings in Roman Imperial Ostia 293
Marlis Arnhold

Part VI Sharing Public Space 305

23 Complex Sanctuaries in the Roman Period 307
Rubina Raja

24 Temples and Temple Interiors 320
Henner von Hesberg

25 Theater 333
Susanne Gödde

26 The Archaeology of Processions 349
Eftychia Stavrianopoulou

27 Urbanization and Memory 362
Christopher Smith

Part VII Expressiveness 377

28 Images 379
Sylvia Estienne

29 Instruments and Vessels 388
Anne Viola Siebert

30 Anatomical ex votos 397
Günther Schörner

31 Monumental Inscriptions 412
Wolfgang Spickermann

Part VIII Agents 425

32 Material Culture and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity 427
Eric Rebillard

33 Individual Choices and Individuality in the Archaeology of Ancient Religion 437
Jörg Rüpke

34 Material Culture and Imagined Communities in the Roman World 451
Eva Mol and Miguel John Versluys

Part IX Transformations 463

35 Ritual Traditions of Non]Mediterranean Europe 465
Greg Woolf

36 Tracing Religious Change in Roman Africa 478
Valentino Gasparini

Index 489

"...this is a strong, diverse and stimulating collection of essays with some excellent theoretical contributions as well as accounts of particular practices or bodies of material; it presents a coherent picture of religion as experienced and will be a mainstay for students and scholars of Graeco-Roman religion." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“Scholars of antiquity, especially those specializing in the archaeology or history of ancient religion, will find this text to be a beneficial complement to their bookshelf… With its progressive approach and interdisciplinary nature, I will find this book useful for many years to come. Students and scholars of the ancient world will probably feel the same way.” – The Classical Journal

"The thirty-five contributions in this volume aim to give insights into areas of research and study that provide crucial information about religion and ritual practice in antiquity." - New Testament Abstracts

"A companion to the archaeology of religion in the ancient world, edited by Raja and Rupke, positions itself at the intersection of archaeology and religious studies. It presents 35 contributions on varied aspects of religious practice across the Graeco-Roman and late antique worlds. Unlike some recent handbooks, the editors provide an extended introduction explaining the rationale for the selection of topics." - Antiquity