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Conversion in Mystery Religions? Theory Meets Mysteries and Conversion

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1. Title Title of document Conversion in Mystery Religions? Theory Meets Mysteries and Conversion - The Complexity of Conversion
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Gerhard Van Den Heever; University of South Africa
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) religious conversion; religion in antiquity; intersectionality; narratives of conversion; reception of conversion; Hebrew Bible; second Temple Judaism; Church Fathers; sacred texts
5. Subject Subject classification ancient history; ancient religion
6. Description Abstract This essay significantly redescribes and retheorizes mystery religions, religion, and conversion. The concepts of conversion and mystery religions are problematized through redescriptive theorizing of religion. Focusing on Apuleius/Lucius’s ‘conversion’ in The Golden Ass, and the cases of Late Roman aristocrats’ initiations into mysteries, this essay argues that ‘conversion’ is not an applicable term to use for entry into mystery cult group membership; and second, that perhaps it is best to abandon the term conversion, even for Christianity and Judaism. What is conventionally thought to be indicated by ‘conversion,’ are normal processes of social formation and identity maintenance.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Mar-2021
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.40234
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; The Complexity of Conversion
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) ancient world
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd