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Research Field 1


The impact of »Hellenization« on religious identity formation

With  contributions of Achim Lichtenberger, Georgios Halkias and Christopher Beckwith

Since the invention of the term »Hellenism« as designation of an epoch by J.G. Droysen, the impact of Greek culture and the so called »hellenic religions« on the religions in Central Asia and the Mediterranean has been under discussion. Have they been a trigger or push factor in processes of integration, adoption, amalgamization, hierarchization, demarcation etc.? Have theses processes on the other hand led to inner processes of stabilization (and destabilization), which have fostered the sustainability of religious networks (densification) at the end? How far does the influence of Greek elements on religions in Central and Eastern Asia extend? How far is Hellenism itself enriched by religious traditions from Asia? We want to discuss the impact of Hellenic conceptions on particular religions in a comparative perspective. Thereby we want to focus especially on aspects of formation of religions which have been in the broadest sense in contact with the Hellenic culture.

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