First Synthesis - Robert England HON 111 Week 6 Synthesis 1...

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Robert England HON 111 – Week 6 Synthesis 1 When asked to look at our first five Honors books, one theme first comes to my mind: sexuality. All of the books we have read so far have had sexual undertones, some more obvious than others. These parts of the books have been discussed in every one of our preceptorials (except the first; there was no sex mentioned in the course syllabus) and have been major parts of our FirstClass conversations. I for one recognize how sexuality can be a touchy subject; just think about how today’s media portrays these topics. However, as four of these five books originated a very long time ago, it appears as if this has always been a hot topic. The definitions of morality have never been solid, and a look back at some ancient civilizations shows that the general trend was a relative lack of morals. Through these books we can get an idea of how the definition of morality has changed over time. For instance, when we looked back at Sumerian culture, we found that a major part of the goddess Inanna’s identity was her sexuality. The large number of references suggests that the ancient Sumerians looked at lovemaking as a religious topic and thus fully acceptable. Both good and bad sides of the topic are brought up when the me are mentioned; after reading them, I was under the impression that prostitution was glorified in that culture. The number of sexual objects mentioned was staggering; even in these religious stories, there are references to numerous body parts and bodily fluids. A pivotal part of the stories involves sexual maturity and lovemaking, including a long narrative (p.44-49) about Inanna and Dumuzi having sex. By the sound of things, sex was viewed as a religious activity, so the Sumerians likely viewed all this as good morals.
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According to Dr. Passman, the Inanna view of sex was not one generally shared by the people in those times. However, all this did embody a large part of Sumerian religion. The love shared by Inanna and Dumuzi was supposed to be the driving force for reproduction of the people, the animals, and even the crops. Art with the couple’s love bed as the subject (sometimes in ways we would consider to be graphic) was created to increase productivity and to promote good growing seasons. The most famous of ancient Sumerian religious ceremonies was supposed to be a reenactment of the consummation of the two deities, with the king taking the place of Dumuzi and the high priestess as Inanna. Whether the two actually had sex in front of everybody is still in question, however; the
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This essay was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HON 111 taught by Professor Palmer during the Fall '07 term at University of Maine Orono .

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First Synthesis - Robert England HON 111 Week 6 Synthesis 1...

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