Issues of authority in cultic innovations, innovations in priesthood, and foundations of civic festivals from the point of view of successful or unsuccessful anchoring.
Religion and philosophy are important to our agenda for their handling of cultural authority. In the domain of religion, innovation is by definition problematic: religious beliefs and practices are normally founded on notions of permanence and on an authority legitimized by tradition or metaphysical principles. Nonetheless, all religions do change, some even radically so. Religion is therefore an outstanding test-case of an area where ‘the new’ is generally valued negatively. Religious practices cannot be considered autonomous: they are connected with other social and political practices, for which they themselves may provide essential anchoring points. Work Package 3 studies issues of authority in cultic innovations, innovations in priesthood, and foundations of civic festivals from the point of view of successful or unsuccessful anchoring. Together, the projects aim at clarifying anchoring processes in religious innovation, and prepare the way for Work Package 11 (the rise of Christianity; second phase of the project, 2021-2027). The second focus of Work Package 3 is philosophy: as a practice of human self-understanding it faces similar problems of authority and legitimation vis-à-vis older and competing ways of explaining the world and regulating human behavior.