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A Vocabulary for Worship

Dan Sheffler on Taking Seriously Gravitas, Dignitas & Pietas 

If any people in history knew it, the Romans knew how to be serious about serious things. Next to the cultured poets and philosophers of Athens, the Romans saw themselves as a race of soldiers and farmers. The religious rites that Numa instituted early in Rome’s history cultivated a deep reverence for ancestry and custom, for bonds between neighbors, and for those boundaries that designate and hallow sacred ground. Roman law reflected a concern for those spaces that must not be violated, whether they be in a temple, a city, a house, or a man’s soul. This gravity, admittedly, came along with an almost unbelievable degree of cruelty, . . .

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