CLAS 111
Oracle, Prophecy, Possession: Commun(icat)ing with Divine Powers Fall 2024
Division I
Cross-listed REL 111

Class Details

This course explores a set of practices and contexts in which humans have sought to interact with divine powers. We shall ask how humans interact with divine powers through the techniques of spirit possession, prophecy, and consulting with oracles. Importantly, we shall also ask how these interactions reveal and produce what it is to be human, with attention to differences among humans and the relation between humans and nonhuman forces (divine powers but also natural forces and other animals). The bulk of the course will focus on ancient examples from cultural contexts near the Mediterranean Sea, but we shall also consider other geographical regions and some modern practices and contexts. Ideal for students interested in ancient religions but also those interested in questions of power, agency, and how the ways that we imagine what it means to be human involve questions about nonhuman forces (whether imagined in religious, scientific, philosophical, or other terms).
The Class: Format: seminar; the class will include 1 or more field trips
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1833
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly GLOW posts; 2 3-page papers; 1 collaborative project; 1 final project
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students, then second-year students, then majors in religion or classics
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
CLAS 111 Division I REL 111 Division II

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