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Kyle R. Hughes

impacting their own lived experiences. Marx-Wolf has demonstrated that what she calls “taxonomic discourses” were constructed not as mere intellectual exercises but as efforts to “demote and discredit other ritual experts” while seeking to “carve out new areas of influence and authority for themselves.” 146

Series:

Laela Zwollo

was possibly thinking of communal sacrificial-theurgical rituals, see Civ. Dei X .1. etc.) He even claimed in X .2 that Christians and Platonists essentially worshipped the same God. Worshipping God, as least as far as Plotinus was concerned, would have taken place in the form of personal prayer

Series:

Kyle R. Hughes

in the Jewish and Greco-Roman World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). On problems with the term “religion” in antiquity, see James B. Rives, Religion in the Roman Empire (Malden, MA : Blackwell, 2007), 13–53. 83 Heidi Marx-Wolf, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists

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Laela Zwollo

Platonist practice of theurgy in Civ. Dei and in book IV of Trin . (Chapter 2.2.2). His accusations concerning these rituals in Civ . Dei were aimed at Porphyry and in Trin . at the ‘arrogant philosophers’. As we saw in Chapter 2, Augustine rightly did not include Plotinus in his condemnation of

Series:

Laela Zwollo

assistance from demons by magical rituals, precisely what Augustine spilled so much ink on refuting in Civ . Dei . 25 Plotinus, on the other hand, condoned these practices and maintained his position on the activity of contemplation to bring one to God. Here the assumption was made, that Plotinus