The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun

The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun

The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun

The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun

Synopsis

A study of the religious system of Mithraism, one of the 'mystery cults' popular in the Roman Empire contemporary with early Christianity. Roger Beck describes Mithraism from the point of view of the initiate engaging with the religion and its rich symbolic system in thought, word, ritualaction, and cult life. He employs the methods of anthropology of religion and the new cognitive science of religion to explore in detail the semiotics of the Mysteries' astral symbolism, which has been the principal subject of his many previous publications on the cult.

Excerpt

This book has been many, many years in the making. So it is appropriate that I dedicate it to the three scholars who over the years have helped me most along the way with their friendship, encouragement, and wise counsel on the Mysteries of Mithras and how to address them. There are of course many others who have generously aided me, and I hope they will excuse me if I do not repeat here the acknowledgements recently made in the collection of my past articles and new essays, Beck on Mithraism.

I do however want to thank my editor Hilary O'Shea for her trust and forbearance over what must surely be one of the lengthiest projects to come to fruition and a record-holder in deadlines overrun. I also want to thank my research assistant Norman Valdez for his skilful production of the diagrams.

Since Chapter 1 is entirely programmatic, I shall refrain from introducing my subject and outlining my methods here. Let the Table of Contents which follows serve as a map of the road ahead.

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