Religion Past and Present

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Dionysus (Bacchus)
(489 words)

[German Version]

Pagan religion of the 19th century chose the Greek god Dionysus/Bacchus as a counterpart Christ, first as the god of the older cultic meal and then as the embodiment of indestructible life versus death on the cross, inebriation and ecstasy versus the asceticism and passivity of redemption. In the ancient world, very dissimilar cults had in common the name of Dionysus/Bacchus; only myth has images of ferocity, frenzy, and violence. Four kinds of cults deserve mention. (a) Men meet …

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Auffahrt, Christoph, “Dionysus (Bacchus)”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 July 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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