Arachne’s Weaving: Disentangling the Ambiguities of Irreligious Representations of the Divine

Carole M. Cusack


It is a truth universally acknowledged that the appropriate attitude to the divine Is one of awe and respect. But Is it? Contemporary world religions (with the notable exception of Hinduism) tend to fit this model. However, there are significant exceptions throughout history which envisage quite different ways of approaching the divine, including irreverence and paradox, apparently allowing the overthrow of the divinely ordered hierarchy. This paper examines the satyr-plays of ancient Greece, and their context, the festival of the Great Dionysia, as an example of a 'carnival' religious occasion.

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