Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Article in The Journal of Prehistoric Religion

I have a new article out in the Journal of Prehistoric Religion, one of my favorite journals. It's called "Virtual Reality: Tree Cult and Epiphanic Ritual in Aegean Glyptic Iconography." 

Here's the abstract: For the first half of the twentieth century and even up until quite recently Minoan religion has been interpreted through an evolutionist lens. Glyptic iconography depicting ritual activity in conjunction with trees and stones has been considered evidence for the evolutionary trajectory of Minoan religion from an earlier “primitive” phase, characterised by aniconism, to a more sophisticated stage signified by anthropomorphism. In contrast, this article proposes that Minoan religion was simultaneously physiomorphic, theriomorphic and anthropomorphic. Through examination of the Minoan imagery of epiphany set within natural landscapes, in conjunction with comparative ethnographic analysis of cult activity and religious symbolism from the Levant and Egypt, it is determined that Minoan religion was a “nature” religion that was experienced through the mediation of elite human performance.