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Death As Life And Life As Death: Revisiting Rohde

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Chapter Summary

This chapter revives and applies aspects of Erwin Rohde's analysis to the contemporary scholarly analysis of the categories of the human and the divine in Western antiquity, but more particularly to the ways such notions of humanity and divinity were taken up by Theophilus of Antioch as he set forth his view of Christ as a model of salvation. Rohde wrote that his book is about the opinions held by the Greeks about the "life" of the human soul "after death". He questions the nature and understanding of death. Rohde traces the origins of the concept of the immortality of the soul, properly speaking, to the experience of "sacred madness" (hieromania) within the Thracian cult of Dionysos.

Keywords: death; Erwin Rohde; hieromania; human soul; immortality; Theophilus of Antioch



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