Departmental Papers (Religious Studies)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

2016

Publication Source

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Start Page

527

Last Page

532

Abstract

"All laws of men are nourished by one law, the divine law." So wrote the fifth-century Greek philosopher Heraklitos. The concept of "sacred law" on the other hand is likely the remnant of a category first used in 1906 CE to define a particular corpus of Greek inscriptions pertaining to cult practice. It constitutes a subcategory of the vast category-- "all laws of men" -- that includes the intersection of the normative and the divine. Sacred law is not the abstract, pervasive, and diffuse notion of divine sponsorship--however conceived--of state power, or the vast realm captured between the terms "religion and law," but rather covers a subcategory of explicit norms that govern religious cult practice.

 

Date Posted: 08 September 2017