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1. Raising Questions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter questions the suitability of methods and approaches that the author applies in the study of Greek religion: from iconography of divine attributes to interpretive paradigms. It discusses the present diversity of scholarship on Greek religion as conditioned by three major factors: the nature of available sources (textual, epigraphic, archaeological, iconographic), the corresponding disciplinary divides within Classics (philology, history, archaeology and art history), and the impact of deeply rooted interpretive paradigms. The panhellenic model has been in use since the days of the mythological school to the days of ritualism, structuralism and postmodernism. This model explains local expressions of religious life as versions of the big picture, as derivations of or deviations from the envisioned common source. Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood's focus on polis alone as a specific form of social organization unnecessarily constrains the potential of the local model.

Keywords: archaeology; Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood; Greek religion; interpretive paradigms; panhellenic model; philology



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