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Chapter Two. Systems Of Belief

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Chapter Summary

The main information at our disposal for reconstructing the universe of beliefs is the mythical narrative. In this chapter, the author discusses how far the other cults aside from that of Isis shared in the soteriological promise. The author accepts that they differed in the degree of emphasis they placed on life in the other world but claims that on the whole they laid more stress on it than traditional paganism, and in that respect were somewhat closer to Christianity. The chapter examines how the mystery-component of the oriental cults has been understood as a religious phenomenon. It deals with some specific issues, and provides conclusion devoted to the historical- and historiographical-relation between the two. The chapter sets out some of the basic premises that define the relations between the oriental deities and their adherents. It also examines each of the myths successively in some detail.

Keywords: beliefs; Christianity; Isis; mystery-component; myths; oriental cults; religious phenomenon

10.1163/ej.9789004132931.i-486.10
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