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Pagan and Christian in an Age of Anxiety: Some Aspects of Religious Experience from Marcus Aurelius to Constantine (Wiles Lectures Given at the Queens University, Belfast) Paperback – 28 Feb 1991
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'The outstanding characteristics of [Dodds's] work … are a rather rare union of detachment and sympathy, a combination of precise scholarship and a degree of acquaintance with contemporary psychological theories unusual in a classical scholar, and last but not least, an ability to write very well.' The Times Literary Supplement
'Professor Dodds mutes and muffles nothing … His tone is level and just, his understanding is comprehensive and his emphasis is never polemic. There is a dry inner light in his writing which falls evenly in every sentence, a distillation of restrained wit and of the lifelong exercise of scholarship.' Peter Levi, The Tablet
Interest in the world of Late Antiquity is currently undergoing a significant revival, and this provocative book now reissued in paperback, anticipated some of the themes now engaging scholars. Professor Dodds examines, from a sociological and psychological standpoint, the personal religious attitudes and experiences common to pagans and Christians in the period between Marcus Aurelius and Constantine.
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The book has a huge number of citations from original texts and from a handful of high quality studies by Daniélou, Festugière, and Nilsson, among others. This book will be useful for those researching the history of philosophy, the history of Mediterranean pagan religions, and the history of Christianity. A huge amount of knowledge is required of an author to write with authority about so many thinkers (such as the satirical celestial voyage in Lucian's Icaromenippus, the dream books of Aelius Aristides, and the biblical scholarship of Porphyry) and we are lucky that this book exists; it is neither a shallow survey for an undergraduate reader nor a disciplinary monograph that only a professional scholar would bother to read.