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Open Access Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book, which is based on the Sather Lectures that the author gave at the University of California at Berkeley in spring 1999. The book may be understood as being divided into two parts. The central theme of the first three chapters can be summarized as 'the systematics' or 'syntax' of the divine world: how did polytheism work, how did (the) Greeks make sense of the inscrutable divine meddling in and with human life, and how did monistic and pluralistic conceptions of the divine world relate? The latter three chapters are concerned with questions about divine nature and qualities, more especially with correspondences and tensions between human and divine features in the nature of the gods.

Keywords: divine world; Greek theology; polytheism; Sather Lectures



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