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Wifstrand Schiebe, Marianne
Publications (10 of 28) Show all publications
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2020). Das anthropomorphe Gottesbild. Berechtigung und Ursprung aus der Sicht antiker Denker. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Das anthropomorphe Gottesbild. Berechtigung und Ursprung aus der Sicht antiker Denker
2020 (German)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Undersökningen omvärderar den antika filosofins hållning till den officiella gudsbilden. Att man var kritisk till att gudarna i kulten framställdes som snarlika människor är bekant. Att man systematiskt reflekterade över hur denna felaktiga gudsbild uppstått och kunnat slå igenom är däremot helt okänt. Undersökningen visar att man systematiskt reflekterade över om den felaktiga gudsbilden hade uppstått spontant (dvs av misstag) eller om den hade uppfunnits aktivt och i så fall av vem, för vem och varför. Grundprincipen är att kultens gudar i grunden är desamma som de gudomliga principerna i den filosofiska teologin (”vi dyrkar samma gudar”); kultens sätt att presentera gudarna är däremot felaktigt.

Först mycket sent finner vi exempel på en positiv filosofisk acceptans av den antropomorfa gudsbilden. Mänskligt gestaltade gudabilder skall ha införts för att på ett konkret, visuellt sätt förmelda kunskap om den osynliga, outsägliga gudomen. I bokstavlig mening är den antropomorfa gudsbilden fortfarande felaktig; poängen ligger i att den från början varit avsedd att förstås i överförd mening.

I två särskilda kapitel behandlas de två (marginella) modeller där den antropomorfa gudsbilden betraktas som bokstavligen sann, nämligen den epikureiska ståndpunkten, enligt vilken gudarna har någon form av mänsklig gestalt, resp. den s k euhemerismen, vars poäng är att den gudarnas mänskliga gestalt är historiskt berättigad -- kultens gudar är ingenting annat än forna historiska gestalter.  

Abstract [en]

Scholars tend to locate ancient philosophers’ struggle with anthropomorphism within a discourse concerned with myth and mythology, i e., to connect it with allegorical exegesis of poetry. However, allegorical exegesis of the poetical narrative about the anthropomorphic gods centers around plots and deals with the gods’ thoughts, actions and reactions, not with their human shape. Allegoresis presupposes and operates from a philosophical image of the divine but it does not include an assessment of the gods’ anthropomorphic form. It has so far never been realized that there is a more basic problem concerning the gods’ human shape as such.

Another common mistake is to group statements concerning the truth value of the anthropomorphic images of the divine with comments concerning other aspects of them (e.g., craftmanship, material, finish and the like) and to regard all this as a separate, self-contained topic. However, behind any reflection on the truth status of the anthropomorphic images lurks the general problem of the truth status and origins of anthropomorphic representation as such.

For the first time ever, the problem is here defined and the relevant material is investigated systematically to reveal ancient philosophers’ theories about how the concept of humanlike gods had arisen. Although there is little explicit evidence for an ongoing debate about the origins of the anthropomorphic image of the divine, the answer to the question often reveals itself to the attentive eye as implicit in the texts. The low rate of explicit discussion is a sign that for a long time one specific model was so predominant as to be next to a communis opinio. According to this model, as reconstructed by me, the idea of gods in human shape was a deplorable result of linguistic misunderstanding. Once, in the time of early mankind, there had been made valuable and truthful accounts describing the influence and operations of the divine in the cosmos by means of a metaphorical language, thereby drawing on such close and familiar source domains as family relations, sex, and the human body. When in the course of time people lost sight of the fact that all these fathers and mothers, marriages and love affairs, arms, heads, embraces and quarrels were to be understood metaphorically, and began to take them literally, they came perforce to believe in a pantheon of real mothers and fathers, men and wife and so on.

This model, which I think can be safely reconstructed from the texts, is described in full in the third chapter (3.1.1.). Explicit statements mostly represent more marginal opinions. Thus, for instance, the rather modern-looking theory that can be worked out from Xenophanes, fragments 14–16 Diels/Kranz remains unique throughout (ch. 3.1.3).

Both these two models effectively preclude any possibility of assigning a philosophically acceptable significance to the anthropomorphic images of the gods. For this, a radically different view of origins was required, one that held anthropomorphism to have been intentionally invented with the aim to symbolically refer to the unrepresentable, unspeakable Supreme Being. It took a very long time for ancient philosophy to come up with such a theory. The first case attested is in the later work of Varro (ch. 4). Other advocates of a model of this kind are Plutarch, Dio Chrysostomus, Cornutus and Maximus of Tyre (ch. 5).

The logically most attractive model for explaining the rise of the anthropomorphic image of the divine claimed that the anthropomorphic gods had in fact once been men. This is the theory put forth by Euhemerus. Although this model found very few followers until Christian authors seized upon it, an extensive treatment is called for because of the mistaken ideas about it in current scholarship (ch. 6).

Brief survey of contents:

Kap. 1. Einleitung. Abgrenzung der Forschungsaufgabe und Festlegung grundlegender Distinktionen

Kap. 2. Das anthropomorphe Gottesbild als Träger buchstäblicher Wahrheit ‒ die epikureische Position

Kap. 3. Die Ursprungsfrage A ‒ Das anthropomorphe Gottesbild als grundsätzlich unwahr

Kap. 4. Vertreter zweier Standpunkte ‒ Marcus Terentius Varro

Kap. 5. Die Ursprungsfrage B ‒ Das anthropomorphe Gottesbild als in übertragenem Sinne wahr

Kap. 6. Die Ursprungfrage C ‒ Das anthropomorphe Gottesbild als historische Tradition und deshalb buchstäblich wahr: Euhemerismus

Kap. 7. Rückblick

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2020. p. 382
Series
Potsdamer altertumswissenschaftliche Beiträge ; 69
Keywords
antike Philosophie, Gottesbild, Anthropomorphismus, Wahrheitsgehalt des Gottesbildes, antik filosofi, gudsbild, antropomorfism, sanningsvärde
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Philosophy, with specialization in history of philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395487 (URN)978-3-515-12419-5 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, Dnr 421-2001-4891
Note

Utkommen 15.10.2019 (copyright-år 2020)

Available from: 2019-10-19 Created: 2019-10-19 Last updated: 2019-10-20
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2017). Gudarnas mänskliga gestalt -- vanföreställning, meningsfull symbol eller politiskt trick?: Ett försummat problemkomplex i den antika filosofin. Religion och Bibel, 68-70, 29-56
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gudarnas mänskliga gestalt -- vanföreställning, meningsfull symbol eller politiskt trick?: Ett försummat problemkomplex i den antika filosofin
2017 (Swedish)In: Religion och Bibel, ISSN 0347-2302, Vol. 68-70, p. 29-56Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The article explores ancient thinkers's views on how the anthropomorphic image of the divine, a concept most of them held to be wrong, could have arisen. These views are to be strictly distinguished from attitudes to the myths about the anthropomorphic gods. The article presents a number of models that can be reconstructed from our texts. Of these, the dominant one claims that the idea of gods in human shape was a deplorable result of linguistic misunderstanding, an original metaphorical discourse about the divine having been wrongly taken in a literal sense. Other models present the anthropomorphic image of the divine as having been invented intentionally, either by shrewd politicians as a means to control the uneducated many, or by wise men who sought for a convenient method to symbolically refer to the unrepresentable, unspeakable Supreme Being. This latter theory, with its acceptance of the anthropomorphic representation of the gods (although of course not literally), is attested only very late, and there are good reasons for believing that this is not mere chance.

Finally, the article touches upon the logically most attractive model, the theory put forth by Euhemerus, according to which the gods are presented in human form simply because they had once been human beings. The scholarly debate on Euhemerism is in need of thorough revision.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nathan Söderblom - sällskapet, 2017
Keywords
image of the divine, anthropomorphism (ancient philosophical theories on), gudsbild, antropomorfism (teorier om), antik filosofi
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy, with specialization in history of philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323993 (URN)
Available from: 2017-06-12 Created: 2017-06-12 Last updated: 2017-06-12Bibliographically approved
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2014). Why it should be obvious that Euhemerus did not write his Sacred History to bolster ruler cult: A critical assessment and an alternative theory. In: Lars Karlsson, Susanne Carlsson, Jesper Blid Kullberg (Ed.), ΛABPYΣ: Studies presented to Pontus Hellström (pp. 341-350). Uppsala: Uppsala universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why it should be obvious that Euhemerus did not write his Sacred History to bolster ruler cult: A critical assessment and an alternative theory
2014 (English)In: ΛABPYΣ: Studies presented to Pontus Hellström / [ed] Lars Karlsson, Susanne Carlsson, Jesper Blid Kullberg, Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2014, p. 341-350Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The idea that Euhemerus wrote to bolster ruler cult is wide-spread, although it has nothing to support it if the evidence is analysed in detail. In the present artcile, that task is undertaken and the serious problems accompanying the theory are discussed. If we take Euhemerus' project as an attempt to forward a new theory as to how the anthropomorphic image of the divine had arisen, every single question prompted by the traditional explanation turns out to get its solution.    

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2014
Series
Boreas. Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations, ISSN 0346-6442 ; 35Aun, ISSN 0284-1347 ; 35
Keywords
Euhemerus; anthropomorphic image of the divine; ruler cult
National Category
History and Archaeology
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-224427 (URN)9789155488314 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2001-4891
Note

Del av större projekt med titeln Die Frage nach Berechtigung und Ursprung des anthropomorphen Gottesbildes im antiken Denken

Available from: 2014-05-12 Created: 2014-05-12 Last updated: 2019-02-11Bibliographically approved
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. & Karlsen, E. (2013). A Christian Approach to Vergil's Eclogues: A Fragment of Hugo de Folieto, De pastoribus et ovibus in Oslo. In: Espen Karlsen (Ed.), Latin Manuscripts in Medieval Norway: Studies in Memory of Lilli Gjerlöw (pp. 271-278). Oslo: Novus Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Christian Approach to Vergil's Eclogues: A Fragment of Hugo de Folieto, De pastoribus et ovibus in Oslo
2013 (English)In: Latin Manuscripts in Medieval Norway: Studies in Memory of Lilli Gjerlöw / [ed] Espen Karlsen, Oslo: Novus Press , 2013, p. 271-278Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Novus Press, 2013
Series
NOTA BENE. Studies from the National Library of Norway, ISSN 1891-4829 ; 5
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Latin
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292720 (URN)
Available from: 2016-05-08 Created: 2016-05-08 Last updated: 2016-05-08
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2012). Chrysippos und das obszöne Bild von Zeus und Hera: Eine forschungskritische Sichtung der Evidenz. Mnemosyne (Lugduni Batavorum. Print), 65, 469-479
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chrysippos und das obszöne Bild von Zeus und Hera: Eine forschungskritische Sichtung der Evidenz
2012 (German)In: Mnemosyne (Lugduni Batavorum. Print), ISSN 0026-7074, E-ISSN 1568-525X, Vol. 65, p. 469-479Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Greek; Philosophy, with specialization in history of philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-189020 (URN)
Projects
Die Frage nach Berechtigung und Ursprung des anthropomorphen Gottesbildes im antiken Denken (VR)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2012-12-21 Created: 2012-12-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2012). Chrysippos und das obszöne Bild von Zeus und Hera: Eine forschungskritische Sichtung der Evidenz. Mnemosyne (Lugduni Batavorum. Print), 65(3), 469-479
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chrysippos und das obszöne Bild von Zeus und Hera: Eine forschungskritische Sichtung der Evidenz
2012 (German)In: Mnemosyne (Lugduni Batavorum. Print), ISSN 0026-7074, E-ISSN 1568-525X, Vol. 65, no 3, p. 469-479Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182269 (URN)10.1163/156852511X548199 (DOI)000306872500008 ()
Note

Title in ISI: Chrysippus and the obscene Image of Zeus and Hera. A critical review of the Research of the Evidence

Available from: 2012-10-08 Created: 2012-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2011). Virgilius de uno deo aperte loquitur: Eklogendeutung und Laktanzanlehnung bei Hugo de Folieto (12. Jahrhundert) (1ed.). In: Suchla, Beate Regina (Ed.), Von Homer bis Landino. Beiträge zur Antike und Spätantike sowie zu deren Rezeptions- und Wirkungsgeschichte: Festgabe für Antonie Wlosok zum 80. Geburtstag (pp. 435-464). Berlin: Pro Business GmbH
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Virgilius de uno deo aperte loquitur: Eklogendeutung und Laktanzanlehnung bei Hugo de Folieto (12. Jahrhundert)
2011 (German)In: Von Homer bis Landino. Beiträge zur Antike und Spätantike sowie zu deren Rezeptions- und Wirkungsgeschichte: Festgabe für Antonie Wlosok zum 80. Geburtstag / [ed] Suchla, Beate Regina, Berlin: Pro Business GmbH , 2011, 1, p. 435-464Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin: Pro Business GmbH, 2011 Edition: 1
Keywords
Vergiliusreception, Kristen Vergiliustolkning, Lactantius
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Latin
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-152147 (URN)978-3-86805-814-7 (ISBN)
Available from: 2011-04-25 Created: 2011-04-25 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2010). "Ur huvudet på Zeus": Antika tänkare om den gängse gudsbildens uppkomst. In: Fanni Faegersten Jenny Wallenstrand Ida Östenberg (Ed.), Tankemönster: En festskrift till Eva Rystedt (pp. 180-186). Lund: Fanni Faegersten
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Ur huvudet på Zeus": Antika tänkare om den gängse gudsbildens uppkomst
2010 (Swedish)In: Tankemönster: En festskrift till Eva Rystedt / [ed] Fanni Faegersten Jenny Wallenstrand Ida Östenberg, Lund: Fanni Faegersten , 2010, p. 180-186Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [sv]

Ancient philosophers almost invariably rejected the idea of the anthropomorphic image of god presented in official cult, i.e. gods being like men. However, this did not prevent them from taking part in cultic activities. Far from being indifferent to the gap between their own philosophic theology and the image of the divine officially presented, they developed certain strategies that bridged that gap. First of all, they held their own philosophical divine principles and the gods of state cult to be identical; i.e. the gods were real gods, only the manner they were presented was wrong. Second, they reflected on how this incorrect image of the divine related historically to their own philosophical view of god. One of the theories that can be reconstructed from our evidence is discussed in the present article. According to this model, the idea of gods in human shape was a deplorable result of linguistic misunderstanding. Once, in the time of early mankind, there had been made valuable and truthful accounts that described the influence and operations of the divine in the cosmos by means of a metaphorical language drawing on such close and familiar source domains as family relations, sex, and the human body. When in the course of time people lost sight of the fact that all these fathers and mothers, marriages and love affairs, arms, heads, embraces and quarrels were to be understood metaphorically, and began to take them literally, they came perforce to believe in a pantheon of real mothers and fathers, men and wife and so on.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Fanni Faegersten, 2010
Keywords
antropomorfism, gudsbild, försokratiker, stoiker
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
Philosophy, with specialization in history of philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-138063 (URN)978-91-633-7175-2 (ISBN)
Projects
Berechtigung und Ursprung des anthropomoprhen Gottesbildes aus der Sicht antiker Denker (VR)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2001-4891
Available from: 2010-12-16 Created: 2010-12-16 Last updated: 2019-02-08Bibliographically approved
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2007). Review of G. R. Boys-Stones, Metaphor, allegory, and the classical tradition, Oxford University Press 2003 [Review]. Opuscula Romana, 31-32, 209–215
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Review of G. R. Boys-Stones, Metaphor, allegory, and the classical tradition, Oxford University Press 2003
2007 (English)In: Opuscula Romana, Vol. 31-32, p. 209–215-Article, book review (Other scientific) Published
Keywords
metaforteori, allegori, antik retorik
National Category
General Literature Studies Specific Languages Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-14794 (URN)
Available from: 2008-06-28 Created: 2008-06-28 Last updated: 2018-01-12
Wifstrand Schiebe, M. (2006). Anders Cullhed, Kreousas skugga. Fiktionsteoretiska nedslag i senantikens latinska litteratur: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion. Stockholm/Stehag 2006 [Review]. Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, 127, 540-546
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anders Cullhed, Kreousas skugga. Fiktionsteoretiska nedslag i senantikens latinska litteratur: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion. Stockholm/Stehag 2006
2006 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, E-ISSN 2002-3871, Vol. 127, p. 540-546Article, book review (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet, 2006
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-19222 (URN)
Available from: 2008-03-17 Created: 2008-03-17 Last updated: 2017-12-08
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