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This book has a modest goal, namely to give students of theology the necessary information in this field. It concentrates on the Graeco-Roman sphere; it does not deal with Judaism, with which Christianity has quite a different (closer) relationship. Originally written in German, this book has been translated and revised in this great edition. A splendid guide in which Klauck treats civic and domestic religion, the mystery cults, popular beliefs (astrology, soothsaying, miracles, and magic), the cult of rulers and emperors, philosophy and religion, and gnosticism. Fascinating to read and a valuable reference.
Klauck's is a uniquely well-informed and comprehensive guide to the world of religion in the Graeco-Roman environment of early Christianity. Drawing on the most up-to-date scholarship, his volume paints a carefully nuanced portrait of the Christians' religious context. Besides describing ordinary domestic and civic religion and popular belief (including astrology, divination and "magic"), there is extended discussion of mystery cults, ruler and emperor cults, the religious dimensions of philosophy, and Gnosticism. An authoritative work, Klauck's will become a new standard for reference and teaching.
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