Demons, Fear, and Uncanny in Ancient World

Description: (Same as Religion M70.) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Consideration of place of demons and fear in several different societies and cultures in ancient world: Mesopotamia; ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; and Biblical and early Jewish contexts. Investigation into why demons and monsters existed in these cultures; how they were opposed or protected again; and what these different societies feared, and how that fear was represented. As demons and monsters are reflections of particular culturally specific fears and norms, studying them allows for examination of societies that constructed them. Examination of how fear of threats such as disease, illness, and death were constructed alongside fears of foreign and of women. Critical examination of wide range of primary source texts, addressing core question of how different societies construct unique fears--and how those fears shape those societies in turn. P/NP or letter grading.

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