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Salem, Oregon 97301
Ancient Eastern Mediterranean religion cannot be understood without taking into account the interplay between economic, political and religious spheres, and the key role it played in justifying social structures, and coercing individuals to play their proper part in upholding social institutions. A variety of sociological and anthropological theories and approaches will be applied to the following topics within ancient Eastern Mediterranean religion: divination, Aphrodite, Apollo, cosmogony, festivals, and worship of the dead. The course will end with a reading of a Greek tragedy, Aeschylus' Eumenides, situating it in its religious and ritual context. Throughout students will constantly be confronted with the question, why are Greek and Near Eastern religions so similar? Can specific similarities be attributed to a common source, borrowing, membership in a single cultural area, or is this "how humans think?"
Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society
General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Fourth Semester Language Alternative