German classical philologist and religious scholarwd:Q61888
country of citizenship:
language of expression: German, English
educated at: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
occupation: linguist, historian of religion, classical philologist, university teacher, classical scholar
award received: Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts, Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Balzan Prize, Sigmund Freud Prize, Carl Friedrich Gauss Medal, Honorary doctorate from University of Toronto, Honorary doctor of the University of Oxford, Honorary doctor of the University of Fribourg, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Walter Burkert (German: [ˈbʊɐ̯kɐt]; 2 February 1931 – 11 March 2015) was a German scholar of Greek mythology and cult.
A professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, he taught in the UK and the US. He has influenced generations of students of religion since the 1960s, combining in the modern way the findings of archaeology and epigraphy with the work of poets, historians, and philosophers.
He published books on the balance between lore and science among the followers of Pythagoras, and more extensively on ritual and archaic cult survival, on the ritual killing at the heart of religion, on mystery religions, and on the reception in the Hellenic world of Near Eastern and Persian culture, which sets Greek religion in its wider Aegean and Near Eastern context.
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