Judaism - Judaism REL2300 Judaism Ancient Mythology -...

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Judaism REL2300 Judaism Ancient Mythology - Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greek Transcript of power point lecture 40 slides total Slide 1 We begin our study of Judaism with the third area of the world in which religion was concentrated and given birth. That is the Middle East area. We'll begin with Judaism then Christianity and finally to Islam because that is historical for the three religions to emerge. But to begin with I thought it would be helpful to look some ancient mythology from the region that goes back before Judaism or as Judaism is being born. We'll look at ancient mythology out of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. Slide 2 Mesopotamia refers to that region of the world also known as the Fertile Crescent, the land between two rivers, the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. It was settled at least 6000 years before the Common Era. The three major ancient civilizations, Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian come from this region. We in America have become quite familiar with this region in recent years because of the war in Iraq. Slide 3 Abraham is considered to be the father of the three major monotheistic religions to come out of Mesopotamia: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. That is perhaps one of the most fascinating details about these three religions is that they have a common origin. Abraham's traditional home is considered to be Ur. From this area come many creation and flood myths that influenced the mythology of both Judaism and the Greeks as well as Zoroastrianism and other religions and areas. I thought it would be helpful to look at some of those creation and flood myths. Many people in America are under the impression that the only mythology related to the flood and creation is found in the Scriptures and the Old Testament of Christianity. But that is not the case.
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Slide 4 One of the most interesting epics is the Epic of Gilgamesh which comes from the ancient Sumerian and Akkadian civilizations. These were agricultural civilizations and are generally credited with the invention of writing known in its earliest form as cuneiform. First they were pictograms or pictures representing objects, then ideograms which represented ideas and then phonograms which were symbols for speech sounds. [It was] the very beginning of language as we know it. Slide 5 The Gilgamesh Epic is the oldest epic known in Western literature. It appears around 2200 b.c.e. and is based on a historical figure of the first dynasty in Ur around 2700 b.c.e. It addresses some fundamental questions: · What is bravery? · What is honor? · What is the meaning of friendship? · Why must humans die? · How can humans achieve immortality? Slide 6 In the Gilgamesh epic there is the story of Utnapishtim. I won't read this to you but I do want you to read it. In this you will see an amazing similarity between this story and the story of Noah found in the Bible. It's a fascinatingly close connection. Slide 7
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2012 for the course REL 2300 taught by Professor Www during the Summer '11 term at Casper College.

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Judaism - Judaism REL2300 Judaism Ancient Mythology -...

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