Departmental Papers (Religious Studies)

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Book Chapter

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The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions

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"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