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Lecture

5th Class.doc

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Department
Religion
Course
RELI 2732
Professor
Angela Sumegi
Semester
Winter

Description
5th Class Unlike Egypt isolateddeserts on both sidesEgypt is quite isolated Mesopotamia is open from all insidestherefore open for invasion Life for the people for this region was insecure unstable and full of danger The Mesopotamia pantheon of Gods is much greater than the Egyptian pathion of Gods The Gods associated with the citiesand nature etcthey all came together in one pathion There is a great deal more diversity more chaos in the Mesopotamian worldThe Mesopotamian understanding of the human creation is quite similar to the bible Even though their creation myths are different For example 1 The biblical version of creation is that the universe is created by Gods commandlet there be lightlet there be animalswhat ever God wanted2 The Babylonian version of creation is the universe is created out of conflict between the powers of darkness and chaos and the powers of orderthe Gods of light and orderOrder battles chaos and Order has to always triumph over chaos our we wouldnt surviveSo although the creation myths are quite different but the Mesopotamian view of the human being is quite similar to the bibleThe bible says God created man from clay or earth and breathed into clay the breath of life from GenesisFrom the Babylonian textman is also said to be created from the mixture of God and Clay SO HOLD ON TO THIS Human being is a mixture of divinity and earthmost immaterial the divine and most physical One of the most distinctive aspect of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian systems is the way they approached death and after lifeWhen we look at what are the remains of the dead for the Egyptians we have monumental tombs many written body artifacts that tells us all about their interests and preoccupution with arrangements of death BUT when we look at the Mesopotamiathere interest in death and the after life appears insignificant comparatively speaking They didnt have the interest of making arrangements of the after life like the Egyptians did So why is there a differencewhy were they Egyptians terribly interested to them in the after life and why were the Mesopotamians not appear to be so interestedPROF says that we should look at the way they understood death and what it means and what they imagined beyond death What makes you look into the future is how you conceive the futureIf you conceive of it as horrible then you will not be so interested to get therebut if you conceive it as possibly goodthen you would be interested in how to get there So the Mesopotamians world view was that human life is where all pleasure goodness joy meaning etc resides in life In other words their view of human life was that all the good there is could only be had in life so they are not interested in death because life being over translates into the good being over Just as there is a big difference in the funeral arrangements between the Egyptians and Mesopotamiansthere is also a big difference in the view of the person Sowe know that the Egyptian view of the human is rather complex 4 elements that constitute the human personality all of which related to the after death continuation of the personFrom the Mesopotamian perspectivethe person is created from a mixture of God and Clayupon death the clay part becomes the inanimate pile of bonesand the God part becomes a ghostnot a spirit or soul BUT GHOSTshadowy pseudoperson SO just bones and GhostThe ghost is the continuing but dead aspect of the person that knows whether the living has performed the rights burial of the bonesand they know whether or not the memories of the former living person is preserved and respectedThe ghost could be capable of assisting the familyif theyare The place of ghosts in the Mesopotamian traditions is the underworldSO the Mesopotamian picture of the underworld is described in the description shown on the overhead From the Epic of Gilgamesh a description of the underworldNot a pretty picturethat was view of fate for everyone regardless of who your are Gilgamesh denies this so he searches for immortalityhe stops by an Inn and gives him an advice shown from overhead Advice from a barmaidHer advice is enjoy your life love your loved onesbecause this is the task for mankind So Gilgamesh realizes that the only immortality he can have is leaving behind the monuments cities laws etc So from the ancient perspectivedeath is the end of any kind of life that you care to haveImmortality is linked to what continues in this lifeChildren and Accomplishments Compared with thatin Egyptians viewlife continues after deathThe Egyptians had the hope of a good life after deathand its hard to be motivatedThe Mesopotamians just didnt see the hope of good life So in looking at ideas of death and after life in the Jewish tradition scholars make a distinction between the early biblical view of such concepts and later developments that grew out of historical conditioned and influence of other philosophies and cosmologies like the Greeks and Persians who ruled over Judaya for a periodThe world view of the Mesopotamia which is the place of origin of the Hebrew tribesthen the Cosmos were understood to consist of 3 levels upper middle and lowerThe lower being underworld also called the Sheol The sky Gods occupied the heavens sphere and the ghosts of the ancestors occupied the underworld
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