Hellenism

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The Victory of Samothrace, symbol of Hellenism (Louvre Museum, Paris)

Hellenism in a religious context refers to the modern pluralistic faith practiced in Greece and around the Earth by various communities derived from the beliefs, mythology and rituals, since antiquity through and up to the present.

Quotes:

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  • Hellenism is the pot on the stove, the scoop for the embers, the jug of milk, it is the furnishings, the crockery, what surrounds the body; Hellenism is the warmth of the domestic hearth, perceived as sacred, it is everything belonging to man that puts him in contact with a part of the outside world [...]. Hellenism is purposely surrounding man with furnishings instead of just any objects, transforming the latter into furniture, humanizing the surrounding world, infusing it with a subtle teleological warmth. Hellenism is the stove by which a man sits and enjoys the warmth it emanates, so akin to the warmth he has inside. (Osip Emilyevich Mandelshtam)
  • The "Hellenes" astonished us because, although open to the spiritual disturbances of their age, they appealed to ancient methods to find a solution to the anxieties of the present. Their placid faith in a tradition stemming from Plato and constantly evolving was perhaps the most reassuring aspect of late antique civilization. In fact, many classical and enlightened societies had collapsed under the weight of their own traditionalism, leaving their immediate successors only with a memory of anxieties and nightmares. If this did not happen in the Roman Empire, it is largely due to the "Hellenic Renaissance" and the dialogue between its proponents and the new Christian aristocratic intellectuals. (Peter Brown)

Hellenism and Christianity have made the West what it is today: a space of freedom where Faith and Reason can coexist in harmony, mutually enriching each other and nurturing a fruitful dialogue. (José María Aznar)

Note:

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Sources:

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  • Chamoux, François; Roussel, Michel (C.E.2002), "Chapter 9 - The Needs of the Soul", Hellenistic Civilization, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-22242-1
  • Chaniotis, Angelos (C.E.2003), "The Divinity of Hellenistic Rulers", in Erskine, Andrew (ed.), A Companion to the Hellenistic World, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 1-4051-3278-7
  • Evans, James (C.E.1998), The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-509539-1
  • Mikalson, Jon D. (C.E.2006), "Greek Religion - Continuity and Change in the Hellenistic Period", in Bugh, Glenn Richard (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic World, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-53570-0
  • Shipley, Graham (C.E.1999), "Chapter 5 - Religion and Philosophy", The Greek world after Alexander, 323-30 B.C.E., Routledge, ISBN 0-415-04618-1
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