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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Classical Studies

CLAS 351 (US; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greek and Near Eastern Religion (1)

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

  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Bachvarova