Ancient Near Eastern Religions

Course content

This course will offer a unique opportunity to study some of the world’s oldest religions in a comparative perspective. It is an interdisciplinary initiative between the disciplines of the Study of Religions, Egyptology, and Assyriology. The course is theme-oriented and each unit has both a more theoretical part along with an empirical component that focuses on texts and objects from Egypt and Mesopotamia. Themes studied include deities and concepts of the divine, mythologies, temples and sacred space, ritual leaders and other religious agents, rituals and festivals, hymns and prayers, magic, healing rituals and divination, conceptions of death and afterlife. Students will also be introduced to the main textual sources (such as the Gilgamesh Epic, the Babylonian Epic of Creation, the Myth of Isis and Osiris, and the Book of the Dead), excerpts of which will be read in English translation.

Students will obtain a general overview of the basic theoretical debates in the history of religions, as well as a basic overview of religious beliefs and practices in ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia (c. 3300 BCE – 300 CE). It is offered on BA and MA levels and will be co-taught by internationally recognized experts in their fields.

The empirical material in class will come from the religions of the ancient Near East, but the analytical tools use will be applicable on historical religions at large. Students are also welcome to use materials from other ancient religions for their final essay

Education

Religion:

Fagstudieordning Bacheloruddannelsen i religionsvidenskab 2019

BA tilvalgstudieordning i Religionsvidenskab, 2019

KA tilvalgsstudieordning i Religionsvidenskab, 2019

Assyrologi og Ægyptologi

Fagstudieordning Bacheloruddannelserne i assyriologi, nærorientalsk arkæologi og ægyptologi, 2019

Fagstudieordning Bachelortilvalg i assyriologi, nærorientalsk arkæologi og ægyptologi, 2019

 

Learning outcome

Religion:

BA 2019-studieordning
Valgfrit område (aktivitetskode HRVB00151E)
Valgfrit område med sprogudøvning (aktivitetskode HRVB00171E)

BA tilvalg 2019-studieordning
Valgfrit område (aktivitetskode HRVB10231E) 

KA tilvalg 2019-studieordning
Valgfrit område 1 (aktivitetskode HRVK13001E)

Assyriologi:

BA 2019-studieordning
Samfund B (aktivitetskode HASB00551E)

BA tilvalg 2019-studieordning
Samfund B (aktivetskode HASB10121E)

Ægytologi:

BA 2019-studieordning
Oldægyptisk kultur B (aktivitetskode HÆGB00171E)

BA tilvalg 2019-studieordning
Oldægyptisk kultur B (aktivetskode HÆGB10121E)

Exchange student BA (Religion)
Individually Studied Area (acitvity code HRVB10231E) 

Exchange student MA (Religion)
Free Topic 1 (activity code: HRVK13001E)

Exchange student BA (Assyriology)
Society B (acitvity code HASB10121E) 

Exchange student BA (Egyptology)
Ancient Egyptian Culture B (acitvity code HÆGB10121E) 

Please see detailed exam information for international exchange students below.

Lectures, discussions, student presentations

Information will be found on Absalon in good time before the course-start

Oral
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Criteria for exam assessment
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Type of assessment details
Academic targets

At the examination, the student can demonstrate:

Knowledge of:
a delimited subject area or complex within the study of religion.
the most important basic sources for the selected field.
theoretical and methodological issues and relevant key concepts.

Skills in
applying and reflecting on theories and methods in the study of religions in connection with a well-defined area on one’s own.
managing academic literature and source material in complex argumentation.
formulating a relevant problem within the study of religion in the form of a clear and coherent analysis.
identifying sub-issues in relation to challenges in the study of religion.

Competencies in
planning and carrying out an analysis in the field of the study of religion on one’s own.
identifying and assessing key research positions in the area studied.
arguing in favour of one’s choice of theory, method and source material.
formulating and communicating subject matter related to the study of religion clearly and intelligibly.

Syllabus
The student compiles his/her own syllabus of 1,000 standard pages of historical and specialised literature as well as source material of 50 standard pages as a rule. The scope may vary from 20 to 200 standard pages depending on the nature of the sources, however. The syllabus must be approved by the examiner. See deadlines and rules for the submission of the syllabus to the Student Counselling Centre under Examination - Find time and place and Examination - Exam form and rules - Syllabus.

Teaching and working methods
Class instruction with student participation or self-study with individual supervision.

Exam provisions

Form of exam: Take-home assignment, optional subject.
Scope: 16–20 standard pages.
Assessment: Internal exam with a single examiner with assessment based on the 7-point grading scale.
Regulations for group exams: The exam can be taken individually or as a group (max. 3 students) with individual assessment. If several students work together on an assignment, each individual contribution must constitute a distinct unit that can be identified and assessed separately. The joint part must not exceed 50% of the total.
Group exam: 2 students: 24–30 standard pages. 3 students: 32–40 standard pages.
Exam language(s): Danish.
Permitted exam aids: All.
Make-up exam/resit: Conducted in the same manner as the ordinary exam.
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Type of assessment details
Academic targets

At the examination, the student can demonstrate:

Knowledge and understanding of
a selected topic in the sociology of religion or the history religion and how to identify, explain and discuss this topic.

Skills in
explaining the sociological or historical aspects of religion relating to the problem chosen
communicating one’s knowledge and reflections in writing and orally in a well-structured manner and with linguistic proficiency, precision and clarity.

Competencies in
reflecting critically on various theoretical and methodological approaches to the field

Syllabus
The student compiles his/her own syllabus of 1,200 standard pages of historical and specialised literature as well as source material of 50 standard pages as a rule. The scope may vary from 20 to 200 standard pages depending on the nature of the sources, however. The syllabus must be approved by the examiner. See deadlines and rules for the submission of the syllabus to the Student Counselling Centre under Examination - Find time and place and Examination - Exam form and rules - Syllabus.

Teaching and working methods
The instruction alternates between lectures, seminars, text discussions and student presentations.

The subject element consists of specialised studies of a topic or a small group of topics, determined by a historical period, a religious belief, a religious institution, a religious phenomenon, a population group, a religious text or text group, the material culture of religions culture or the like.

Exam provisions

Form of exam: Take-home assignment, optional subject.
Scope: 21–25 standard pages
Assessment: Internal exam with a single examiner with assessment based on the 7-point grading scale.
Regulations for group exams: The exam can be taken individually or as a group (max. 3 students) with individual assessment. Each individual’s contribution must constitute a distinct entity that can be identified and assessed individually. The participants’ joint part must not exceed 50% of the total assignment.
Scope of take-home assignments for group exams: 32–38 standard pages (2 students) or 42–50 standard pages (3 students).
Exam language(s): Danish or English.
Permitted exam aids: All.
Make-up exam/resit: Conducted in the same manner as the ordinary exam.
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Criteria for exam assessment

Academic targets

At the examination, the student can demonstrate:

Knowledge of:

selected topics in the history of Mesopotamian religion and society.

overall source material that forms the basis for an understanding of the aspect in question.

 

Skills in

identifying and analysing selected themes related to society, culture,religion and history.

relating selected themes to the history of research.

discussing analytically, critically, and reflectively a specific issue within an academic framework.

presenting a complex issue by means of a written presentation of the subject matter.

 

Competencies in

independently formulating a defined complex problem relevant to the subject area in writing.

an academic analysis that shows an understanding of important historical issues and uses Assyriological literature (including text versions) to illustrate problems.

using theoretical literature relating to specific historical material.

 

Syllabus

A syllabus is not specified.

Teaching and working methods

Class instruction, mainly in the form of lectures, including active student involvement through, e.g. oral presentations or participation in general discussions.

 

Exam provisions

Form of exam: Take-home assignment, free choice of topic.

Scope: 11-15 standard pages.

Assessment: Internal exam with a single examiner with assessment based on the 7-point grading scale.

Regulations for group exams: The exam can only be taken individually.

Exam language(s): Danish or English.

Permitted exam aids: All.

Make-up exam/resit: the same manner as the ordinary exam.

Special provisions

The topic for the take-home assignment must be approved by the examiner.

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Criteria for exam assessment

Academic targets

At the examination, the student can demonstrate:

 

Knowledge of:

the main lines of a significant aspect of the ancient society studied, relating either to history; art and architecture; literature; or religion, as well as insight into the subject area’s theory of science.

The overall source material in relation to the chosen theme.

 

Skills in

identifying and analysing selected aspects of society, culture, religion and history.

relating selected factors to the history of research.

relating analytically, critically and reflectively to a specific issue.

presenting a selected topic independently and in writing.

 

Competencies in

formulating a defined complex problem independently and in writing.

communicating in writing at a general level.

theoretically and methodologically reflecting on and applying knowledge.

 

Syllabus

A syllabus is not specified.

Teaching and working methods

Class instruction, mainly in the form of lectures, although students will also be actively involved, e.g. in the form of presentations or general discussions.

 

Exam provisions

Form of exam: Take-home assignment, optional subject.

Scope: 10–15 standard pages.

Assessment: Internal exam with a single examiner, the 7-point grading scale.

Regulations for group exams: The exam can only be taken individually.

Exam language(s): Danish or English.

Permitted exam aids: All.

Make-up exam/resit: Take-home assignment on set subject. 18-22 standard pages. The students have 7 days to complete their paper.

Special

provisions

The elective topic for the take-home assignment is to be approved by the examiner.

 

 

 

 

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 328,5
  • English
  • 412,5

Kursusinformation

Language
English
Course number
HRVB0115EU
ECTS
See exam description
Programme level
Bachelor
Bachelor choice
Bachelor’s minor subject
Full Degree Master choice
Duration

1 semester

Placement
Autumn
Price

Dette er et dagkursus via tompladsordningen mod betaling på Åbent Universitet. Tilmeld dig og se aktuel prisoversigt på denne side.

Schedulegroup
Se skemalink nedenfor
Studyboard
Study Board of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
Contracting department
  • Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator
  • Kim Ryholt   (6-79806f76737b476f7c7435727c356b72)
Teacher

Kim Ryholt, ryholt@hum.ku.dk; Troels Pank Aarbøll, tpa@hum.ku.dk

Saved on the 16-02-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students