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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Jewish Studies (J ST)

J ST 160 (GH;IL) (CAMS 160, RL ST 160) Sacrifice in Ancient Religions (3) Examines theories of sacrifice and its manifestations in especially the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world and the Near East.

J ST (CAMS/RL ST) 160 Sacrifice in Ancient Religions (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Sacrifice (from Latin sacer “holy” + facere “to make”) is one of the most prominent and troubling aspects of religion, in that it involves making an offering or slaughtering an animal to a deity. Its destruction and violence is often at odds with other rituals and core understandings within a religion, so why is it done and what good does it bring? This course will first examine some competing definitions and theories of sacrifice, and then turn to its manifestations in the ancient societies and religions of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel/Palestine (along with its neighbors Hatti and Phoenicia), as well as some examples from outside the Mediterranean world and the Near East, such as Mesoamerica or Vedic religion.

General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Humanities
Effective: Summer 2014

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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