On Roman Religion
Lived Religion and the Individual in Ancient Rome
Was religious practice in ancient Rome cultic and hostile to individual expression? Or was there, rather, considerable latitude for individual initiative and creativity? Jörg Rüpke, one of the world’s leading authorities on Roman religion, demonstrates in his new book that it was a lived religion with individual appropriations evident at the heart of such rituals as praying, dedicating, making vows, and reading. On Roman Religion definitively dismantles previous approaches that depicted religious practice as uniform and static. Juxtaposing very different, strategic, and even subversive forms of individuality with traditions, their normative claims, and their institutional protections, Rüpke highlights the dynamic character of Rome’s religious institutions and traditions.
Jörg Rüpke is Permanent Fellow in Religious Studies at the Max Weber Center, University of Erfurt. He is the author of many books, including From Jupiter to Christ: On the History of Religion in the Roman Imperial Period, Religion: Antiquity and Modern Legacy, and Religion in Republican Rome: Rationalization and Ritual Change.