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Gods and Corporations: Fifth-Century B. C. E. Athena and the Economic Utility of Extraordinary Agents

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Gregory D. Alles has suggested that economic theory can be a valuable supplement to cognitive theories of religion. The cult of Athena at Athens supplies evidence to support this suggestion. Athena may have origins in the cognitive structures of the human mind as an extraordinary agent. However, she developed economic functions in fifth-century B. C. E. Athens. The sanctuary of Athena served as a bank that funded Athenian civic endeavours. Athena's sanctuary was able to do this because she was a disembodied agent with functions similar to those of a modern United States corporation, which is also a disembodied agent.

Affiliations: 1: Classics Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8702


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