This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
Important Note: This course is cross-listed with CLAS 345 and REL 345. This course was formerly HSRS 345.
This course provides a social and cultural history of Ancient Mediterranean religions, with a special focus on Greece, Rome, and Christianity. The course is divided into three parts: the first part will review the concept of religion as documented by the ancient Mediterranean societies, the second part will consider Stoicism and Epicurean and Platonic philosophy in relation to their role as pioneers of new concepts, while the third part of the course will deal with the construction of the Christian individual as a type, first classified as illegal, then tolerated within society, and finally seen as one with power.
The three major religious systems will also be approached thematically, focusing on some of their major aspects, such as:
- Places: temples, shrines, churches and basilicas
- Ritual: Greek and Roman sacrifices vs. Christian liturgy
- Myth: the Greek epic, the Roman oral tradition, the Christian gospels
- Other central religious experiences in life: birth, initiation, rites of transition, death
- Beliefs and conceptions of afterlife
- Acquire a sophisticated and in-depth understanding of the history of Ancient Mediterranean Religions
- Gain knowledge of the principal religious and philosophical concepts
- Acquire familiarity with and be able to analyze different kinds of documents: images, inscriptions and literary texts
Mandatory course reader