Religion and Civic Purpose in Sophocles's Philoctetes

Why should citizens participate in civic endeavors they oppose? In the Philoctetes, Sophocles dramatizes the actions of three interlocutors who struggle for answers to an intractable personal and political conflict amid an existential civic crisis. The characters try several methods to resolve the i...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of religious ethics
Main Author: Herbel, Jerry
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Wiley-Blackwell [2018]
In:Journal of religious ethics
Year: 2018, Volume: 46, Issue: 3, Pages: 548-569
Further subjects:B Philoctetes
B Greek theater (tragedy)
B religion and political conflict
B War
B Sophocles
B politics and truth
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Description
Summary:Why should citizens participate in civic endeavors they oppose? In the Philoctetes, Sophocles dramatizes the actions of three interlocutors who struggle for answers to an intractable personal and political conflict amid an existential civic crisis. The characters try several methods to resolve the impasse, specifically deceit, sympathy and appeals to duty. Ultimately, civic religion succeeds in creating unity where other methods of resolution fail. The civic religion framework in the Philoctetes can be seen as Sophocles's statement that resolution of the most extreme political conflicts can be obtained through a combination of piety and reason that respects foundational civic doctrines transcending politics. In this way, civic religion serves to unify political communities divided by self-interest, intolerance, and desire for revenge while preserving self-determination and the dignity of free will.
ISSN:1467-9795
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of religious ethics
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1111/jore.12231