2018-2019 University Catalog 
    
    Nov 19, 2018  
2018-2019 University Catalog
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REL 226 - Death and Immortality in the Ancient World


FDR: HU
Credits: 3

According to Egyptologist Jan Assmann, "All culture is a struggle against oblivion." How, then, might different cultures respond to the potential oblivion caused by death - the loss of personhood, the deterioration of the body, and the fading memories of those who have die? What rituals and ideologies preserve memories of the dead among the living? Is this commemoration a kind of immortality? In this course, we explore such questions and critically examine the nature of memory as it relates to ancient conceptions of death and afterlife. Through close analysis of epic narrative, ritual texts, and material culture, we compare traditions from different regions, including Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, in order to better appreciate the rich diversity of human responses to death in the ancient worlds. All ancient texts are read in translation. Sonia.




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