24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Excellent comparative overview,
This review is from: Ancient Mystery Cults (Carl Newell Jackson Lectures) (Paperback)
I read _Ancient Mystery Cults_ with great interest. Burkert takes what I would call the "comparative approach" with this book, touching on aspects of the various cults and discussing them collectively. For example, his chapter titles are: 1. Personal Needs in This Life and After Death; 2. Organizations and Identities; 3. Theologia and Mysteries: Myth, Allegory, and Platonism; 4. The Extraordinary Experience. Thus, if you are interested in the general ideas about these mystery cults, and how they were interconnected, you will be most pleased with this book. Now, one thing that I will say that I didn't like about the book was this: if you are looking for info on a specific cult you will be a bit frustrated. There is no single chapter on the Eleusinian Mysteries, for example; he discusses them all throughout the book as they are applicable to the topic on hand. However, that is no reason not to read the book-- no cult existed in a vacuum, and knowing the general atmosphere in which even a single cult thrived is as important as knowing the details of that one particular cult.