Orphism as a scientific paradigm Cover Image

Orfizm jako paradygmat naukowy
Orphism as a scientific paradigm

Author(s): Przemysław Biernat
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II - Instytut Filologii Klasycznej
Keywords: orphism; scholarship on orphism; paradigm

Summary/Abstract: In my essay I would like to examine current interpretative paradigm, which western scholarship cast on heterogenous and ambiguous data first to create and then to modify the notion of ‘orphism’. In case of paradigms preceding the actual one, the role which ‘orphism’ played in contemporary theories and controversies centered around the question of its significance for emergence of Christianity is well known. That is why in my work I would like to focus on deconstruction of interpretative consensus, elaborated in recent years, which is to be found in such works as Martin West’s The Orphic Poems (1983), Ritual Texts for the Afterlife. Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets by Fritz Graf and Sarah Iles-Johnston (2007) or monumental Orfeo y la tradición órfica. Un reencuentro (2008) edited by Alberto Bernabé. What is significant, inasmuch as we can write the history of Athenian religion or the history of Hellenistic kings’ worship, we still cannot write the history of orphism. In formulation of all these scholars it is an ahistorical phenomenon, a hidden constant in the sphere of Greek religion, never expressed directly and entirely, but always alluded to by ancient authors. I find difficult to agree with such a statement. The aim of my inquiry is to reveal assumptions of current paradigm, which are hidden in it, but leave a distinct impression on data.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 5
  • Page Range: 4-12
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Polish