Continuity and construction: Ancient Greek cult in a long-term perspective
This programme investigates whether we can identify continuity of cult between different periods of Greek antiquity. What did Herakles have in common with St Michael, if anything? Why were certain ancient temples transformed into churches while others were destroyed? In certain places we seem to be able to identify long-term use for religious purposes, but does this mean continuous ritual activity or should we assume intermittent breaks with subsequent revivals of religious use?
Can we trace ideological forces behind a re-establishment of ancient religious habits? In a long-term perspective, encompassing the centuries from the Greek Bronze Age u to present modern Greek society and its neo-pagan movements, this MA programme discusses the multi-faceted concept Continuity of Cult. The discussions have double perspective: we analyse both the historical and modern context, since today’s scholars seem prone (consciously or not?) to search for cult continuity in religious habit as well as space. After preparatory studies at their home academic institutions, the participating students spend three weeks in Greece for seminars and lectures at the Swedish Institute at Athens and for excursions to relevant archaeological sites and museums. In 2013 and 2015 we visited sites in Attica and in the Argolid; however, this might be subject to change in future programmes.