Creation myths in the ancient near East
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: RC518
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
The course will explore the idea of ‘myth’, taking into consideration contemporary research on ‘myth’ and ‘myth-making’. The day will be divided up into a number of sections: creation myths in Ugarit, in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, ancient Greece and in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. We will critically read the relevant primary texts, and ask ourselves a number of questions: when were these myths written, what were their original audience, and most importantly what function did they perform? A historic-socio-political and theological approach will be taken to fruitfully explore the multiplicity of myths in the ancient world.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Creation myths in Ugarit (Baal’s battle with Yam)
- Creation myths in ancient Egypt (Pyramid Texts, Hermopolis, Heliopolis, Memphis, and Thebes)
- Creation myths in Ancient Mesopotamia (Atrahasis; Enuma Elish)
- Creation myths in ancient Greece (Plato’s Timeus)
- Creation in the Old Testament (Genesis 1-3; Job 38-42; Psalms 74, 104).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the concept of creation myth in the ancient near Eastern world.
- Understand the worldview of each of the ancient near Eastern societies under consideration.
- Appreciate the diversity of ideas behind creation myths and their varied functions.
- Appreciate the socio-political background behind the formation of creation myths.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is open to anyone with an interest in the topic; an open mind is the only requirement.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
? The course will be taught through seminar, group work, discussion and PowerPoint.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. Bring pen and paper if you wish to take notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any other classical literature and language course.
Dr Ann Jeffers taught Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism) at Trinity College Dublin and Heythrop College, University of London for 30 years. She is now Research Fellow at Roehampton University. Her research interests, and publications are in the field of magic and divination in the Bible and the ancient world, feminism and reception history of the Bible mostly in literature and the visual arts. She also belongs to an interdisciplinary research group, ‘Media and Religion’.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.