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2. Our Language and Theirs: "Religious" Categories and Identities

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1. Title Title of document 2. Our Language and Theirs: "Religious" Categories and Identities - Theorizing Religion in Antiquity
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Steve Mason; Groningen University;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies; Ancient History
4. Subject Keyword(s) religion in antiquity; ancient religion; ancient history; classics
5. Subject Subject classification ancient religion
6. Description Abstract Most of our historical evidence—whether literary, inscriptional, or numismatic— involves language. In order to understand it, we need to know something of how educated persons viewed their world and what categories they assumed in talking with each other. Beginning students of ancient history typically find themselves off balance in this area. They quickly realize that terms with more or less obvious meanings in English—history, democracy, state, country, city, empire, emperor, province, myth, religion, superstition, priest, philosophy, professional, law, police, army, general (as rank), economy, markets, social class, genre, geography, maps —bring with them a cart-load of connotations that are not valid for the Greek and Latin (or Hebrew or Aramaic) terms they translate. One-for-one translation of words from ancient agrarian cultures to those of our post-industrial, post-modern western democracies is bound to be hazardous. This is evident in the study of ‘ancient religion’ and begs for out attention. Before we explore the terms that are most commonly translated as ‘religion’, we must deal with a thorny issue that sparks debate and creates misunderstandings even among specialists, namely: the legitimacy and status of such “insider-language” research.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 13-May-2019
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.27962
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Theorizing Religion in Antiquity
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) worldwide,
6th century BCE to 4th century CE
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd