Life and Death in Israel and Judah (THE3173)

30 credits

All cultures deal with the rhythms of life and death differently. In this module, we will explore the social, religious, and cultural dynamics of life, death, and post-mortem existence in ancient Israel and Judah, and consider their reflections and refractions in the Hebrew Bible. Drawing on anthropological, archaeological, iconographical, and literary-critical approaches, we will examine various socio-religious practices and cultural preferences relating to a range of bodily and social experiences, including pregnancy and birth, puberty and sex, body modification and personhood, mortuary practices, and encounters with the dead. We will also consider the legacy of these ancient perspectives and practices within early Jewish and Christian communities