Religious Thread in the Ancient World

Course Code SL2
Tutor Mark Patton
Mondays, for 10 weeks
18/05/20 – 27/07/20
Full fee £73, Conc. fee £32

Who Is The Course For

No prior knowledge is necessary, but a good understanding of English is essential.

We will be discussing the following books, which you may wish to buy and read in your own time:

J. Romer & E.A. Wallis Budge 2008 The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Penguin Classics.
A. George (Trans) 2003 The Epic of Gilgamesh, Penguin Classics.
The King James Bible.
Saint Augustine & G.R. Evans (ed) 2003 City of God, Penguin Classics.

What Does This Course Cover

We will begin by looking at the concept of “religious” literature in global perspective; and at key issues of literary influence, and inter-relationships between different forms of cultural and creative expression. We will then examine each of the key texts on its own terms; in the context of the times and places in which they were produced; and in terms of their broader influence in the definition and transformation of regional and national cultures. We will explore the invention, endurance, appropriation, and modification of tradition in response to changing social, political, and religious ideas; and the way in which such traditions continue to develop and influence the Modern World.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

” Explain the concept of “religious” literature, with reference to key texts in the traditions of Old World Antiquity.
” Identify a range of influences of one text on another; and of specific literary works on other forms of cultural expression (painting, sculpture, material culture, music, drama).
” Contribute to a discussion on the philosophical and theological ideas that underpin key literary works.
” Define key ideas in theology, philosophy, literary criticism and art history.
” Use the knowledge gained on the course to identify aspects of ancient thought that continue to influence the cultural life of the Modern World.

What Will It be Like

Each week there will be an informative talk using PowerPoint; readings from the key texts and related works; and group discussion of issues arising from those texts. You will be encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment. Occasionally homework reading will be provided. Although this is not an accredited course leading to a formal qualification, you will be encouraged to complete a self-assessment form in which you can monitor your progress

What Else Do You Need To Bring Or Do

You will need to download (free) Zoom software on your computer or mobile device. You will need a microphone (it’s fine to use whatever is built in to your device) and preferably use headphones during the session.