Otto, Walter F.: Theophania
Der Geist der altgriechischen Religion
Walter F. Otto (1874–1958) was a distinguished classical philologist, who became internationally known following the publication of his seminal work Die Götter Griechenlands ("The Homeric Gods"), which has subsequently been translated into numerous languages. In "Theophania", as in his other books on this and related subjects, his unusually wide-ranging research followed one basic aim: to go beyond a merely esthetical-artistical assessment of the world of the Homeric gods, thereby gaining access to the religious powers that yielded the incomparable heyday of classical Greek culture. Eschewing to simply transfer the naïve picture endorsed by the late 19th century, which was characterised by rational-utilitarian preconceptions of the period, on classical antiquity and so adapting it to our present understanding, Walter F. Otto convincingly outlines the meaning the Greek Gods had for the Greek people of their time: They understood the Gods as epiphanies of being itself and at the same time as palpable translations of the Olympic into everyday human life.
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