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Mystery Religions in the Ancient World
ISBN 0060631406 / 9780060631406 / 0-06-063140-6
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A lively, illustrated overview of the variety of mystery religions that flourished at the dawn of the Christian era. In clear, enlightened text and striking images, Mystery Religions holds up a "distant mirror" to our own times, showing that the quest for spiritual illumination from Eastern religions, and emphasis on spiritual development and experience, and a concern for hidden knowledge are deeply rooted in Western culture. Mystery Religions brings the myths, the magic, their rites and the wisdom of a bygone age to compelling life, making them comprehensible to modern readers.... Here is a compelling account of the forms mystery religions took, from the cults of Mithras, Dionysus, and Orpheus to those of the Goddess, esoteric Christianity and Judaism, and Gnosticism. Godwin offers a rich and varied selection of illustrations; the symbolism of paintings, statues, releifs, and other visual imagery provides a wealth of additional information about these religions. --- excerpts from book's back cover [via]