This volume, generally considered the most useful single work in English on the subject, attempts to answer such questions, while at the same time offering a sound, solid background in the various forms of religious experience that are grouped together under the term Mystery-Religions. From the Eleusinian mysteries of ancient Greece through the Asiatic cults of Cybele, the Magna Mater, and Attis; the strange rompings of the Dionysian groups; Orphics with their impact on Greek philosophy; the Mysteries emergent from Egypt — Hermes Trismegistos, the Pymander, Isis, and Osiris; on up to the religion that swept the Near East and Europe, carried by the Roman legions, and that almost became central for us today — Mithraism.
Each of these religions offered something to its devotees that the older ethnic and state religions could not: a sense of the value of the individual; heightened areas of experience, even to the manipulations of sensory experience; psychological insights that are only now being appreciated. Yet they all died out within a couple of centuries of the Christian era, Gnosticism (apart from a few vestigial groups in the Near East and Europe) subsuming their heritage last.
- ISBN: 9780486143514 |
- Publisher: Dover Publications |
- Publication date: Apr 30, 2012 |
- Language: English |
- Format: Ebook