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The Routledge Companion to Ecstatic Experience in the Ancient World

Edited by: Diana L. Stein , Sarah Kielt Costello , Karen Polinger Foster

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367480325
eBook ISBN: 9781003041610
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781003041610
 Cite  Marc Record

Book description

For millennia, people have universally engaged in ecstatic experience as an essential element in ritual practice, spiritual belief and cultural identification. This volume offers the first systematic investigation of its myriad roles and manifestations in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East.

The twenty-nine contributors represent a broad range of scholarly disciplines, seeking answers to fundamental questions regarding the patterns and commonalities of this vital aspect of the past. How was the experience construed and by what means was it achieved? Who was involved? Where and when were rites carried out? How was it reflected in pictorial arts and written records? What was its relation to other components of the sociocultural compact? In proposing responses, the authors draw upon a wealth of original research in many fields, generating new perspectives and thought-provoking, often surprising, conclusions. With their abundant cross-cultural and cross-temporal references, the chapters mutually enrich each other and collectively deepen our understanding of ecstatic phenomena thousands of years ago. Another noteworthy feature of the book is its illustrative content, including commissioned reconstructions of ecstatic scenarios and pairings of works of Bronze Age and modern psychedelic art.

Scholars, students and other readers interested in antiquity, comparative religion and the social and cognitive sciences will find much to explore in the fascinating realm of ecstatic experience in the ancient world.

Table of contents

Prelims Download PDF
Introduction Download PDF
Chapter  1:  Contextualizing the Study of Ecstatic Experience in Ancient Old World Societies Download PDF
Chapter  2:  Not Only Ecstasy Download PDF
Chapter  3:  From Shamans to Sorcerers Download PDF
Chapter  4:  Psychoactive Plants in the Ancient World Download PDF
Chapter  5:  Ecstasy Meets Paleoethnobotany Download PDF
Chapter  6:  Caucasian Cocktails Download PDF
Chapter  7:  Mind-altering Plants in Babylonian Medical Sources Download PDF
Chapter  8:  Plant-based Potions and Ecstatic States in Hittite Rituals Download PDF
Chapter  9:  Forbidden at Philae Download PDF
Chapter  10:  The Ring-Kernoi and Psychotropic Substances Download PDF
Chapter  11:  Beer, Beasts and Bodies Download PDF
Chapter  12:  Lament, Spectacle and Emotion in a Ritual for Ishtar  Download PDF
Chapter  13:  Writing for the Dead, Welcoming the Solar-Eye Goddess and Ecstatic Expression in Egyptian Religion Download PDF
Chapter  14:  Altered States on Prepalatial Crete Download PDF
Chapter  15:  Bodies in Ecstasy Download PDF
Chapter  16:  The Mycenaeans and Ecstatic Ritual Experience Download PDF
Chapter  17:  Emotional Arousal, Sensory Deprivation and “Miraculous Healing” in the Cult of Asclepius  Download PDF
Chapter  18:  Ecstasy and Initiation in the Eleusinian Mysteries Download PDF
Chapter  19:  Apolline and Dionysian Ecstasy at Delphi Download PDF
Chapter  20:  Communing with the Spirits Download PDF
Chapter  21:  Ecstatic Experience and Possession Disorders in Ancient Mesopotamia Download PDF
Chapter  22:  Ghosts In and Outside the Machine Download PDF
Chapter  23:  Ecstatic Speech in Ancient Mesopotamia Download PDF
Chapter  24:  Ecstatic Experience Download PDF
Chapter  25:  Understanding the Language of Trees Download PDF
Chapter  26:  Psychedelic Art and Ecstatic Visions in the Aegean Download PDF
Chapter  27:  Sight as Ecstatic Experience in the Ancient Mediterranean Download PDF
Index Download PDF
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