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Discussion 1 relates to religious, ethical, and legal considerations in the earliest Western civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and among the ancient Hebrews.
Primary Source Readings and Discussion for Unit One (60 points):
Read Spielvogel (our course textbook) Chapters 1 and 2 and:
The â€œNegative Confessionâ€ from the Egyptian Book of the Dead:
Read from the Code of Hammurabi laws 134-148 and 172-232 at:
Read Genesis, chapters 1, 2, and 3 at:
For the initial response phase of the discussion board, due 1/12/2018, please post initial answers to three of the questions below.
Questions addressing factual issues only are highlighted in bold print (#1, 2, 3). Questions dealing with primary source material are not highlighted in bold print. Answer two primary source questions, (Questions 4-5 relate to The Book of the Dead, questions 6-9 relate to The Code of Hammurabi, and questions 10-14 relate to Genesis).
Three Initial Posts (10 points each). Only one answer to a bold print question (based on the textbook) and one each to two different primary source documents (not bold).Â These submissions should be approximately two to three paragraphs in length.
For the replies phase of the discussion board, due 1/19/2018, please post at least two responses to other student’s comments and reply to the follow-up question that your instructor posted to one of your initial responses. Locate the question or answer that you wish to respond to, click “Reply”, write an answer, and then click “Submit” to post a response. Responses to other studentâ€™s answers should move the discussion forward with an alternate interpretation or tactfully indicate disagreement with some aspect of it.
Two Reply Posts (10 points each). Responses to another student’s initial answer, click on “reply” within the bottom portion of the student’s post.Â Â To completely reply to another student, at least a full paragraph is needed.
One Reply Post to Instructor’s Follow-up (10 points); the instructor will post an original follow-up question to one of each student’s initial answers.Â Same as an initial, two to three paragraphs.
1. Please assess the geographical conditions that allowed the Mesopotamians and Egyptians to be so successful. What impact did these features have on their culture/civilization?
2. What are two similarities between the religions of ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia?Â What is one way in which they were different?
3. Please assess the similarities and differences between the religions of Mesopotamia and Egypt and the religion of the Hebrews. What were the major features the religion of the Hebrews that differentiated it from those of ancient Egypt and Mespotomia?
4. As demonstrated in the negative confession in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, ancient Egyptians had a clear ethical system. What are some of the actions that a righteous person must not commit? By implication, what are some of the actions that a righteous person should do?Â What flaws do you see in their system?
5. In what ways do Egyptian ideas of right and wrong seem similar to our traditional ideas of right and wrong? In what ways are Egyptian ideas of right and wrong different from our traditional ideas?
6. The Code of Hammurabi has several clearly delineated social classes who have defined rights and duties. What does the Code of Hammurabi tell you about the importance of social class in ancient Babylon? Is there a balance between rights and duties, i.e. those with more rights have more duties, or does the system seem arbitrary or preferential in assigning rights and duties?
7. Punishments in the Code of Hammurabi are very harsh. What effect do you think similar laws would have on the practice of medicine and the trades today? Should doctors and tradesmen be held more accountable for their failures in the same way as their predecessors? Why or why not?
8. How did Hammurabi try to control the actions of government officials within the Code of Hammurabi? Do you believe his regulations for government officials be a good idea today?
9. What do these laws show about the relative status of women in Babylonian society? What are their rights and responsibilities according to the Code of Hammurabi?
10. In which chapters (1, 2, and/or 3) of Genesis is God shown as transcendent (without human form)? In which chapters is he portrayed in a way that is anthropomorphic (with human form)? Why do you believe the authors chose to portray God in these different manners?
11. What relationship does Genesis suggest between humans and plants and animals? Does the Egyptian Book of the Dead make any suggestions about human relationships with plants and animals? If so, how do the concepts of the Egyptians and the Hebrews compare to each other?
12. What are the different implications respecting the status of women during the creation as written in Genesis 1:26-28 and that told in Genesis 2:7-21? Why do you believe Genesis 2:7-21 is the more prevalent version of the creation of woman?
13. How might someone account for the seeming differences in the status of women in Genesis, Chapter 1 and Genesis, Chapter 2? After reading these sections of Genesis, how do you believe the Hebrews envisioned the proper roles of the sexes in their society?
14. What does the story of Adam and Eve tell you about the Hebrew concepts of good and evil? Do those compare favorably or unfavorably with the Egyptian ideas of morality contained in The Book of the Dead or the Mesopotamian ideas of morality contained in the Code of
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