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University of the Pacific
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RELIĀ 106. Illness and Healing in the Ancient World. 4 Units.

This course examines powerful supra-human beings such as deities, demons, witches, and ghosts from ancient Mesopotamia and their assumed relationship, on the one hand, to human sin, disease, illness, disability, and suffering and on the other, to preventative wellness, therapy, and recovery. We answer a number of questions about these relationships throughout the course such as: What constitutes a disease, illness, disability, and suffering in ansient Mesopotamia? How did the ancient Mesopotamians, percieve preventative wellness, therapy, and recovery? How did the ancient Mesopotamians combet human suffering and celebrate healing? Whence did the knowledge of such things come? And how was this knowledge transmitted to future generations? Although focused on a long-enduring ancient culture, the course provides an opportunity to learn an number of theoretical and methodological perspectives that is useful for understanding related concepts from other times and places. Using the ancient workd as a lens to reflect upon our contemporary American setting is a running theme throughout the course. (GE1C)