International symposium, 7-9 July, 2015
The gods of the Greeks liked things. Greek religion is inseparable from its temples, altars, statues, and votive offerings; the last of a dazzling variety, ranging from gleaming bronze tripods or elaborate gold jewellery, to simple terracotta figurines, used shoes and dirty pieces of clothing. As a corollary, to understand Greek religion one has to integrate into any study of its theology and rituals, its distinctive materiality. This conference examines this “distinctive materiality” on two levels: firstly, by examining the role of religious objects in human society and secondly, by looking at the significance that objects were thought to have for the gods themselves. The discussions will aim specifically at exploring the ancient Greek ideas on objects and their materiality, a perspective that has hitherto been given little attention.
Programme: The Stuff of the Gods