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Richard Burridge
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(3,208 words)

The word bio-graphy comes from the Greek for “life-writing,” so that the term must be considered in its Greek context and in turn through its influence in the Western tradition. The absence of ancient Jewish biography is notable. Greco-Roman “lives” share a clear “family resemblance,” one different from modern biographies, which are influenced by Freud and Marx. The Gospels can be categorized as “Lives of Jesus,” written with the same imitative purpose, as can accounts of the lives of Muhammad and the Buddha. ⸙

Vocabulary for the Study of Religion Online

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