Walter Burkert. Ancient Mystery Cults

Study Questions on the Introduction

1. What do scholars think about the relationship between ancient mystery religions and Christianity?

2. What three false stereotypes about ancient mystery religions does Burkert list?

3. In what ways does Burkert suggest the ancient mystery religions do and do not fit the modern meaning of the word "mystery"?

4. What does the ancient Greek word for mystery mean? How is it related to the Latin word initatio? What does the word initiatio literally mean?

5. Discuss the Greek word telein and its relationship to mystery religions.

6. What is Burkert’s definition of the ancient mysteries (see pg. 11)? How does this compare to your understanding of religion and your relationship with God?

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