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Book: Philosophy and the End of Sacrifice

Chapter: 8. No End to Sacrifice in Hermetism

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.28079


In a similar vein to the preceeding chapter, and likewise proceeding from the Corpus Hermeticum, Christian Bull follows a recent scholarly development in the evaluation of the Hermetic treatises as appendages of a real cultic community. Bull insists on rectifying the notion of the Hermetic spiritual and spoken exercises as dismissals of material sacrifice. Unlike the intentions of traditional Graeco-Roman animal sacrifice to increase the prosperity of land and lineage, the concept of material sacrifice in ancient Egypt was distinctly tied to a concept of piety and cosmic order. This notion responds well with the ideals of both Jewish and Hermetic communities in Late Antiquity.

Chapter Contributors

  • Christian Bull ( - chbull) 'University of Bergen'