He is considered to be one of the eminent and leading figures of the contemporary restitution of the Hellenic Religion. Panagiotes Marinis -a most known doctor in the center of Athens and president of the Societas Hellenica Antiquariorum- republished his work on the Hellenic Religion in a new improved edition. The work is an extensive collection of articles and essays on issues that can be considered as key points in the concept of Hellenic Religion.
The work starts with the issues of Cosmogony and its philosophical principles throughout the ancient era and the various philosophical and sectarian doctrines. It is important that the author gives a significant importance in the idea of comparative religious research. Therefore after an extensive and, in my opinion, successful presentation of the Orphic Cosmogony, he states in a separate chapter the Cosmogonical myths of the ancient civilizations and of the ‘primordial’ people. The conclusion of the first chapter titled as the Cosmogony’s Outcomes gives the following phrase: “[…] the world is the everlasting ‘ον’, is uncreated and the cause of its self” (p. 115).
The Hellenic Psygogony is the second main principle, which is extensively analyzed by the author. A great attention is being made on the concept of soul (ψυχή) in the Stoic tradition. This chapter is mainly a collection of fragments by Galenus, Chrisippous, Alexxander Aphrodiseus, Diogenes Lartious, Porfyrius, Iamblichus amd Aetius. Hence background knowledge of the presenting texts is needed for their understanding. It is important to indicate that metempsychosis and a research study on the existence of poltergeists –these are perfectly stated and cased academic material- are specialized and indeed unique in such subject area books.
Theogony is the last extensive section of the book. Issues of mythology and faith, theology, Hellenic festivities, household religion, sacrifice, private pray and a great article on the Hellenic Temenos are being discussed and/or presented in a well stated manner with numerous referent scholarly based material. The chapter discussing the Gods –and some daemons- is well done but there is a limited brainstorm and material on the section of Athena. The material needed is been provided by a vague text by Demetrios Ioannides with no research and/or referent material.
As the author specifies in the epilogue the book is only a ‘touch’ material on the Hellenic religion’s colossal area of study, research and exploration. It is indeed true that the book gives the opportunity, in some sections, for introduction on specialized issues and, on the other hand, some other sections require additional background knowledge. However, the book has still the need of a better structure. An example can be the following; in the book one where the issue of Cosmogony is been discussed the fourth chapter presents the issue of “religions’ type” and cultural evolution by ‘healthy’ religious believes as well as the relation in between the religion belief and the nation-polis. The above material could easily introduce and compose a section of the book only for the past and contemporary political-sociological identity of religion. Personally I cannot see the connection of the Hellenic Cosmogony and the relation of religion-state.
The book is an easy and enjoyable reading material. It is a book –a collection- of articles and essays of a man well-known to his endeavors for the reestablishment of the Hellenic faith –a faith that for years is under pursue. It is a book by a Hellene –a follower of the ancient ways- and therefore discusses issues mostly familiar to Hellenes. The book, although, is not a pagan –as numerous book-reviewers with a banal way will describe- book for a New Age religion but a scholarly based study on a religion which cannot be illustrate in the concept of modern pagans’ principles. This book indeed gives the credibility that the Hellenic religion’s movement need in Greece.
15 hours ago