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Walter Burkert (1931–2015)

Autor(a) de Greek Religion

25+ Works 2,129 Membros 17 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

German-born scholar Walter Burkert currently teaches at the University of Zurich. He is the leading active scholar of the religion of early and classical Greece. Burkert's work proceeds through intense, meticulous historical and philological investigation, seeking to understand Greek religion in mostrar mais and of itself. His studies wed philology and history with methods drawn from anthropology and resemble the work of Jonathan Z. Smith. But, unlike Smith, who seems to rule out diachronic considerations categorically in favor of synchronic taxonomies or analogical comparisons, Burkert remains interested in questions of long-term historical evolution and cross-cultural influence. Burkert gives particular attention to psychological causation and the biological roots of human behavior as revealed by the science of ethology. For example, his study of Greek sacrifice, Homo necans, roots the practice of sacrifice in the biological necessity faced by prehistoric hunting groups that killed to survive. Burkert suggests that this necessary, aggressive behavior gave rise to anxiety, but through the practice of sacrifice the unavoidable aggression, which otherwise threatened to destroy society, was redirected to its promotion instead. In Structure and History Burkert's theoretical concerns are larger, including both myth and ritual. The precise relation between myth and ritual has been a vexing question for scholars of ancient religions; Burkert places them side by side and links them at a structural level. He thinks ritual is older than myth, because it is a form of behavior found even in animals. Nevertheless, ritual and myth share several important features: Both depend upon basic biological or cultural programs of action and detachment from pragmatic reality. Both serve communication. Because myth and ritual are related in this way, it is possible for them to be found together. Burkert's Greek Religion is the current, standard handbook on the religions of ancient Greece. His most recent work has been devoted to examining the influence of the ancient Near East on archaic Greek civilization. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos


Obras de Walter Burkert

Greek Religion (1977) 765 cópias
Ancient Mystery Cults (1987) 374 cópias
Mito e mitologia (1991) 3 cópias

Associated Works

The Odyssey (0750) — Posfácio, algumas edições53,262 cópias
A Companion to Ancient Epic (2005) — Contribuinte — 45 cópias
The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy (2008) — Contribuinte — 37 cópias
Oxford Readings in Greek Religion (2000) — Contribuinte — 33 cópias
Masks of Dionysus (1993) — Contribuinte — 32 cópias
The Ages of Homer: A Tribute to Emily Townsend Vermeule (1995) — Contribuinte — 30 cópias
Greek Sanctuaries (1993) — Contribuinte — 29 cópias
Interpretations of Greek Mythology (1986) — Contribuinte — 17 cópias
Dining in a Classical Context (1991) — Contribuinte — 17 cópias
Oxford Readings in Homer's Odyssey (2009) — Contribuinte — 14 cópias
Oxford Readings in Herodotus: Volume 2 (2013) — Contribuinte — 9 cópias
Studies on the Derveni Papyrus (1997) — Contribuinte — 6 cópias
Polis and Politics: Studies in Ancient Greek History (2000) — Contribuinte — 6 cópias
Greek and Roman Festivals: Content, Meaning, and Practice (2012) — Contribuinte — 5 cópias
Apollo: Origins and Influence (1994) — Contribuinte — 5 cópias
The Role of Religion in the Early Greek Polis (1996) — Contribuinte — 3 cópias


(1,952) adventure (334) ancient (370) Ancient Greece (964) Ancient Greek (226) Ancient Greek Literature (148) ancient history (226) ancient literature (255) antiquity (265) classic (1,478) classic literature (279) classical (272) classical literature (390) classics (3,046) ebook (147) epic (1,226) epic poem (149) epic poetry (758) fantasy (179) fiction (2,417) Greece (1,000) Greek (1,513) Greek literature (806) Greek mythology (536) history (544) Homer (1,096) Kindle (167) literature (1,507) myth (229) non-fiction (174) Odysseus (285) Odyssey (286) own (204) poetry (3,168) read (462) religion (314) to-read (1,279) translation (445) Trojan War (146) unread (188)

Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, Germany
Local de falecimento
Uster, Zürich, Switzerland
Locais de residência
Bavaria, Germany
California, USA
Berlin, Germany
University of Erlangen (Ph.D|1955)
University of Munich
Professor of Classics
University of Zurich
Richard M. Weaver Award (1992)
Gifford Lectures (1989)
Balzan Prize (1990)
Sigmund Freud Prize (2003)
American Philosophical Society (1987)
Pequena biografia
An Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Zurich, Walter Burkert was a well-known historian of Greek religion. He brought methodological innovation and keen insight to the ancient texts and materials of his field, and his work has implications for all aspects of ancient Mediterranean studies, from literature to science to philosophy to religion. Dr. Burkert received training in classical philology, history and philosophy at the Universities of Erlangen and Munich, obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Erlangen in 1955 and taught there over much of the next ten years. In 1965 he served as a junior fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. for one year before becoming a professor of classical philology at the Technical University of Berlin. He joined the faculty of the University of Zurich in 1969 and taught there for 27 years before retiring. He had published books on the balance between lore and science in the followers of Pythagoras; on ritual and archaic cult survival; on the ritual killing at the heart of religion; and on the reception in the Hellenic world of Near Eastern and Persian culture, which sets Greek religion in its wider Aegean and Near Eastern context. Among his works are Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth (English translation, 1982), which is considered an outstanding account of concepts in Greek religion; Ancient Mystery Cults (1987); and Creation of the Sacred (1996). Walter Burkert died March 11, 2015, at the age of 84 in Zurich, Switzerland.



Eine fleißige Sammlung an Fakten und übersichtlich gegliedert und systematisiert, aber zum Durchlesen weniger geeignet. Es setzt Vorwissen voraus und bietet sich an als ein Nachschlagewerk zum Vertiefen, auch dank der gründlichen Quellenverweise. Der Ton ist etwas altehrwürdig, und ich war erstaunt, dass es 1977 geschrieben worden ist. Es wäre toll, einen Begleitband zu haben, in dem die ganzen Abbildungen zugeordnet sind, von denen einige zwar vor dem geistigen Auge erscheinen, aber für einen Normalsterblichen das Aufsuchen und Nachschlagen von Bezügen viel Zeit in Anspruch nähme, würde man sich die Mühe machen. Diese Ausgabe ist überarbeitet. Ein Vergleich mit der Erstausgabe wäre vielleicht ein spannendes Forschungsthema, weil es vielleicht Aufschlüsse über wandelnden Zeitgeist verriete. Was den hervorgehobenen Hinweis auf die auf den "Orient" gewandte Aufmerksamkeit betrifft hätte ich davon mehr Spuren erwartet als gelegentliche streifende Blicke, aber das schreibe ich als Laie.… (mais)
Buchmerkur | outras 6 resenhas | Apr 5, 2024 |
Important deconstruction of religion into functional factors, emergent narratives useful for supporting social organisation and solving lifelong existential questions. The author describes this deconstruction as a the result of dialogue with the “unknown”. He hypothesises this aspect will lead to a big impact of network technology on religion because it will force a degree of arbitrary choice in explaining fundamental life questions.

I think the author had identified a key issue.
yates9 | outras 2 resenhas | Feb 28, 2024 |
A superb book, as long as it is taken for what it is: a series of erudite lectures, barely touching the depths of the subjects. I felt comfortable reading it, as I had solid background knowledge from elsewhere, yet I enriched myself with these erudite flakes and minutes to a satisfying degree. Highly commendable for the cognoscendi, to gather new tasty bits of variete not to be found elsewhere. Highly commendable to the amateurs - to develop a love for mysteries starting from this short survey.

Thank you.
… (mais)
Saturnin.Ksawery | 1 outra resenha | Jan 12, 2024 |
Average disinformative scholarly work written by a spiteful German "religious historian" somewhere in the middle of the 80s. The text is tediously padded with redundant lines dwelling on personal reflections and religious theories which reflect the author's materialistic and irreligious viewpoint, some of which are little more than wild guesses aimed at showing the insolence of the author in his patently ridiculous approach to the religious dimension of the ancients. While he doesn't shy away from making a mockery of his subject by defining the animal sacrifices as "burlesque" in the chapters that deal with the poorly explored ritualistic aspects, the blatant disservice to the Gods and to the ancient Greek cultural heritage throughout the volume is plainly illustrated by the failure to grasp the spiritual significance of the rituals. Avoid at all costs.… (mais)
Vertumnus | outras 6 resenhas | Jun 20, 2022 |


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