Tragedy and Athenian Religion (Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches)

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9780739103999: Tragedy and Athenian Religion (Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches)
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Stemming from Harvard University's Carl Newell Jackson Lectures, Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood's Tragedy and Athenian Religion sets out a radical reexamination of the relationship between Greek tragedy and religion. Based on a reconstruction of the context in which tragedy was generated as a ritual performance during the festival of the City Dionysia, Sourvinou-Inwood shows that religious exploration had been crucial in the emergence of what developed into fifth-century Greek tragedy. A contextual analysis of the perceptions of fifth-century Athenians suggests that the ritual elements clustered in the tragedies of Euripides, Aeschylus, and Sophocles provided a framework for the exploration of religious issues, in a context perceived to be part of a polis ritual. This reassessment of Athenian tragedy is based both on a reconstruction of the Dionysia and the various stages of its development and on a deep textual analysis of fifth-century tragedians. By examining the relationship between fifth-century tragedies and performative context, Tragedy and Athenian Religion presents a groundbreaking view of tragedy as a discourse that explored (among other topics) the problematic religious issues of the time and so ultimately strengthened Athenian religion even at a time of crisis in very complex ways_ rather than, as some simpler modern readings argue, challenging and attacking religion and the gods.

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About the Author:

Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood holds a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in Classics. She has been a Junior Research Fellow at St.Hugh's College, Oxford, a University Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Liverpool, a Senior Research Fellow at University College, Oxford, and a Reader in Classics at the University of Reading. She is the author of several volumes on the classics, including 'Reading' Greek Culture: Texts and Images, Rituals and Myths(1991) and 'Reading' Greek Death (1996).

Review:

Everyone with even a peripheral interest in tragedy, or indeed in fifth-century Athenian history, should read this work and engage in the debate it will no doubt provoke.....This is a valuable study which should change the ways we think about tragedy. (The Classical Bulletin)

This is a...book even for the non-specialist, and one that will doubtless have important implications for those wishing to understand the complexities of Greek tragedy in context. (Political Studies Review)

With this bold book...Sourvinou-Inwood has produced another original eurodite, and provocative exploration of classical Greek religious mentality...intelligent and impassioned argument...belongs: on the bookshelves of all research libraries and of all Hellenists interested in classical Athenian literature and religion. (Resenas Bibliograficas)

This is a passionate book bearing an urgent message (The Classical Outlook)

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Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood
ISBN 10: 0739103997 ISBN 13: 9780739103999
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