Civilization, Science, and Archaeology: The Nature of Religious Belief in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Israel
9 units (3-0-6) | second, third terms
The civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia gave rise to complex forms of religious practices connected to the social order, moral behavior, and the afterlife. The course examines the origins of concepts of moral death and of sin as a violation of cosmic order in antiquity, the nature of polytheism, and the manner in which monotheism arose out of it. In addition to historical analyses the course includes readings by anthropologists who have studied cult structures as well as contemporary theories by evolutionary psychologists. Not offered 2021-2022.