Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Devil's TabernacleThe Pagan Oracles in Early Modern Thought$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anthony Ossa-Richardson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157115

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157115.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022



(p.136) Chapter Four Imposture
The Devil's Tabernacle

Anthony Ossa-Richardson

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the idea that the whole business of pagan oracles was a sham, perpetrated for money or political gain. It discusses the so-called “imposture thesis”—that pagan religions were built on an edifice of priestly fraud, maintained by the laity's fear of divine authority. This thesis has been widely studied as an element of the Enlightenment and its immediate precursors, especially French libertinism eérudit and English Deism. Many thinkers associated with these movements applied the imposture thesis to the pagan oracles, and indeed, the oracles slotted into their narratives as neatly as they had into those of Catholic theologians.

Keywords:   pagan oracles, imposture thesis, pagan religion, Enlightenment, English Deism, libertinisme érudit

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.