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Worshipping The Visible Gods Conflict And Accommodation In Hellenism, Hellenistic Judaism And Early Christianity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the theme of worship in relation to the so-called visible gods, those stars and planets that move with their complex but regular motions in the heavens. It looks at religious attitudes towards these beings, including the question of whether they should be regarded as gods and whether they should actually be called 'gods'. In his long scholarly career Piet van der Horst has always been fascinated by the phenomenon of religion and in particularly by the way that religious communities distill their experience in texts. The chapter shows how the subject of the status of the heavenly bodies gave rise to conflicting views, opposition and accommodation in the case of people following three different but inter-related traditions: Hellenism, Hellenistic Judaism and Early Christianity.

Keywords: accommodation; conflicting views; Early Christianity; Hellenistic Judaism; Piet van der Horst; visible gods



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