Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World [repost]

Posted By: FenixN
Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World [repost]

Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World
48xDVDRip | AVI/XviD, ~557 kb/s | 640x432 | Duration: 24:26:40 | English: MP3, 128 kb/s (2 ch) | + PDF Guide | 5.13 GB
Genre: Religion

How did people of ancient times cope with the overwhelming mysteries of the universe? The cycles of nature kept predictable time with the sun, moon, and stars; yet, without warning, crops failed, diseases struck, storms wreaked havoc, and empires fell.
In the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, they responded with a rich variety of religious beliefs that have provided some of Western civilization's most powerful texts: the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the Hebrew Bible, the Greek epics of Homer, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the New Testament, among many others. Composed largely of stories of human interaction with the divine, these narratives gave ordinary people a window into the unfathomable realm of the sacred.

People also responded with a complex array of religious rituals that survive in the archaeological remains of temples, cultic statues, funerary goods, and household devotional items—artifacts that are among the world's greatest cultural treasures.

In these 48 lectures, Professor Glenn S. Holland uses such textual and archaeological evidence to explore the religious cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. He covers times from the earliest prehistoric indications of human religious practices to the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity in the 4th century A.D.

You will be introduced to religious traditions of a range of civilizations, including the ancient kingdom of Egypt; Mesopotamia; Syria-Palestine, including Israel and Judah; Minoan civilization on the island of Crete and the successive civilizations of the Greek mainland; and the city of Rome, whose empire dominated the Mediterranean world.

Ancient Roots of Our Culture

These civilizations provided the source of much of our own religious heritage, and each gave rise to a remarkable body of stories, beliefs, and traditions that have had wide-ranging and sometimes surprising influences. For example:

The Egyptian goddess Isis came closer to becoming the central deity of a worldwide religion than any other traditional god or goddess of the ancient Mediterranean world. In Christianity, Jesus' mother Mary was credited with many of the beneficent qualities of Isis, particularly mercy, and the special intercessory role for those who were her devotees.
The chief god of the Syro-Palestinian pantheon was 'El. In time his name became the generic word for any god. Many biblical names reflect this change, such as the Hebrew name Michael, which translates as one "who is like God."
Roman imperial soldiers were especially devoted to the god Mithras, who was born on December 25, the same date that later tradition assigned to the birth of Jesus. According to some accounts, Mithras was also born in the presence of shepherds.
Perhaps the best-known example of cross-cultural influence among ancient religions is an account of a devastating flood. It appears in the celebrated story of Noah in the Hebrew Bible, and also in Mesopotamian and Greek versions. Notably, in all these accounts, the survivors' first impulse after making landfall is to offer worship.

A Believer's Viewpoint

A distinguished professor of religious studies at Allegheny College, Dr. Holland brings both a historian's and a literary critic's perspective to this fascinating subject. His emphasis is not only on the rituals and mythology of a civilization's official religious culture, but also on the beliefs, practices, and yearnings of the common person. Professor Holland analyzes literary works as a way of seeing a religious culture from the inside, from a believer's point of view.

The course is presented in four parts of 12 lectures each:

Part I introduces the subject and addresses the fundamental question, "What is religion?" Professor Holland traces the development of religious practices from the earliest evidence in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic eras into the Neolithic era, the age that saw the beginnings of the first great Near Eastern civilizations. The first of these civilizations to be considered is Egypt.

Part II moves on to religious culture in ancient Mesopotamia, especially in the cities of Sumer and Babylon, and later Ashur and Nineveh. The concluding four lectures in this part introduce the religious cultures of Syria-Palestine, focusing on the Hebrew kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Part III continues the study of religious culture in ancient Israel and Judah with lectures on prophecy, the Babylonian exile, and the problem of evil. Professor Holland then shifts to the study of Greek religious cultures, beginning with Minoan civilization on Crete and moving to the civilizations of Mycenae and Athens, as well as the Hellenistic culture established in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Part IV opens with a lecture on mystery religions of the East and introduces the study of Roman religion. This final part culminates with the Jesus movement and the eventual triumph of Christianity over traditional Roman religion. The concluding lecture considers the ways religious cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world are most foreign to our own, and the ways they have expressed the enduring religious yearnings of all humanity.


01 Talking About Ancient Religious Cultures
02 What is Religion?
03 Early Prehistoric Religion
04 Prehistoric Religion—The Neolithic Era
05 Egypt—A Unique Religious Culture
06 Egyptian Creation Stories and Their Meaning
07 The Egyptian Pantheon
08 Egyptian Myths of Kingship
09 Egyptian Myths of the Underworld
10 Egypt—The Power of Goddesses
11 Egypt—Religion in Everyday Life
12 Egypt—The Beginning of Wisdom
13 Mesopotamia—The Land Between the Rivers
14 Mesopotamia—Stories of Creation
15 Mesopotamia—Inanna the Goddess
16 Mesopotamia—Gilgamesh the King
17 Mesopotamia—The Search for Eternal Life
18 Mesopotamia—The Great Flood
19 Ancient Concepts of the Divine
20 The Gods of Syria-Palestine
21 Israel's Ancestral History
22 Israel's National History
23 Prophecy in the Ancient Near East
24 Early Prophecy in Israel
25 Classical Israelite Prophecy
26 Israel's Great Crisis
27 Syria-Palestine—The Problem of Evil
28 Early Aegean Civilizations
29 Religious Culture in the Iliad and the Odyssey
30 Religious Culture in Archaic Greece
31 Greece—How Things Came to Be
32 Greece—The Goddess
33 The Classical Era in Greece
34 Greece—Philosophy as Religion
35 Religious Culture in the Hellenistic World
36 Mystery Religions in the Hellenistic World
37 Mystery Religions from the East
38 Roman Religious Culture Before the Empire
39 Rome—Saviors and Divine Men
40 Rome—Divination, Astrology, and Magic
41 Rome—Critics and Charlatans
42 Jesus of Nazareth as a Figure in History
43 Creating Jesus Communities
44 Living and Dying for the God(s)
45 Women's Religious Roles in the Early Empire
46 The Jesus Movement in the Greco-Roman World
47 The Death and Rebirth of the Old Gods
48 Conclusion—Persisting Ideas and Yearnings

Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World [repost]

Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World [repost]

Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World [repost]

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