Religion 399-2: The Emotional World of the Bible
This course takes the perspective that, while emotions—such as shame--are universal to humankind, the catalysts for specific emotions—like the shame that Adam and Eve feel when naked in the Garden of Eden—is culturally relative. Thus, this course will examine emotions in the Hebrew Bible as a way of understanding and accessing the cultural world of the Ancient Israelites that lies behind the text. While some of our questions will be religious in nature (e.g. what does it mean theologically that God has human emotions?), other questions will relate to issues such as gender (e.g. why do women never express anger?); interpersonal relationships (e.g. who loves whom and why?); and law (e.g. how do emotions, such as disgust, figure into the legal system?). Before we can explore the biblical world, however, we must recognize our own, often unexamined, assumptions about emotion. As such, this course will appeal to students of religion, anthropology, philosophy, sociology and psychology.
October 28, 2022