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Research at St Andrews

Ralph Thomas Anderson

Person

Ralph Thomas Anderson
Postal address:
School of Classics
Swallowgate
The Scores
St Andrews
United Kingdom

E-mail: rta1@st-andrews.ac.uk

Web address: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/classics/people/anderson.shtml

Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462619

Research overview

Greek religion, ritual and magic; anthropology of religion.

My research focuses on Greek religion of the fourth and fifth centuries BC, primarily in Athens, although I am also interested in earlier Greek religion and the emergence of the more familiar Classical religious system. The project that I am currently engaged in is to explore ways of conceptualising a religion that does not emphasise belief or faith without recourse to the traditional dichotomy of religions of belief vs. religions of performance. This older framework reflects key debates in the Early Modern period - particularly the impacts of the Reformation and  early Enlightenment study of religion on the concepts of religion and belief - but provides a problematic model for Greek religion. In place of an approach based on belief and ritual, I am attempting to develop an perspective based on recent anthropological work on concepts of perception, skill and experience.

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