While the variety of animal imagery in iconography/literature is acknowledged as a visual metaphor, animal worship – the actual involvement of living creatures in ritual practice – still confronts us with a curious contradiction: commonly perceived as one of the most qualifying features of Egyptian religion, since Herodotus it has strongly impressed our Western kulturelle Gedächtnis; on the other hand, it is (dis)regarded as a marginal phenomenon both on historical and interpretative ground. Such a contradiction arises from two structural deficits: lack of a theoretical framework, resulting in an anachronistic repetition of paradigms of classical/biblical derivation; lack of a historical perspective, producing simplifications in the evaluation of the phenomenon and its articulation. The present paper summarises part of the results of my PhD dissertation and points out major foci and preliminary results of a research project developed from it1. By adopting a historicalreligious perspective, animal worship will be addressed as a historical product of religious practice, and an attempt will be made to investigate the forms it assumed over time and outline a possible diachronic framework. The final goal is: (1) to reassess the heuristic utility of ‘animal worship’ as analytical category; (2) to reconsider its practical dimension as a focal point in interpretation; (3) to suggest that the integration of selected individuals or groups of animals into specific ritual contexts occurred all along the pharaonic period, while the monumentalisation of such practices allows to set them in a historical framework.

Rethinking Egyptian animal worship (c. 3000 BC – c. 300 AD). Towards a historical-religious perspective / Colonna, Angelo. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 107-111. (Intervento presentato al convegno XI International Congress of Egyptologists tenutosi a Florence).

Rethinking Egyptian animal worship (c. 3000 BC – c. 300 AD). Towards a historical-religious perspective

Angelo Colonna
2017

Abstract

While the variety of animal imagery in iconography/literature is acknowledged as a visual metaphor, animal worship – the actual involvement of living creatures in ritual practice – still confronts us with a curious contradiction: commonly perceived as one of the most qualifying features of Egyptian religion, since Herodotus it has strongly impressed our Western kulturelle Gedächtnis; on the other hand, it is (dis)regarded as a marginal phenomenon both on historical and interpretative ground. Such a contradiction arises from two structural deficits: lack of a theoretical framework, resulting in an anachronistic repetition of paradigms of classical/biblical derivation; lack of a historical perspective, producing simplifications in the evaluation of the phenomenon and its articulation. The present paper summarises part of the results of my PhD dissertation and points out major foci and preliminary results of a research project developed from it1. By adopting a historicalreligious perspective, animal worship will be addressed as a historical product of religious practice, and an attempt will be made to investigate the forms it assumed over time and outline a possible diachronic framework. The final goal is: (1) to reassess the heuristic utility of ‘animal worship’ as analytical category; (2) to reconsider its practical dimension as a focal point in interpretation; (3) to suggest that the integration of selected individuals or groups of animals into specific ritual contexts occurred all along the pharaonic period, while the monumentalisation of such practices allows to set them in a historical framework.
2017
XI International Congress of Egyptologists
Animal Worship; Conceptualisation; Historical-Religious analysis; Ritual Practice; Sacred Animals
04 Pubblicazione in atti di convegno::04b Atto di convegno in volume
Rethinking Egyptian animal worship (c. 3000 BC – c. 300 AD). Towards a historical-religious perspective / Colonna, Angelo. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 107-111. (Intervento presentato al convegno XI International Congress of Egyptologists tenutosi a Florence).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1130825
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