Ancient Greek and Near Eastern Religions

MELC-M315 — Fall 2022

Daniel Caner
Days and Times
MW 11:30 AM -12:45 PM
Course Description

This course uses the polytheistic religious culture of classical Greece to explore the variety, evolution, and cross-pollination of religious experiences in the Mediterranean Near East,  ca. 900 BCE -150 CE. How did Near Eastern traditions influence the mythology and cosmology of Greece? How did Greek notions of the soul evolve over time and differ from ancient Mesopotamian and Judaic conceptions? How did these contribute to early Christian ideas?

To examine these questions we will use a variety of translated primary sources from Greece and the Near East along with relevant archaeology and classic works of modern anthropology and psychology. This is an Intensive Writing course: Assignments include about 40 pages of reading a week, two short papers based on in-class presentations, written responses to the reading, and a final paper.