The 1501 Spring 2004 Questions for Final Exam

Answer one of the following questions. Your answer should be complete -- this is your final exam. Keep in mind that this exam is optional, but it is not non-risk. If you take it, I will grade it, and that grade will be averaged into your final grade. This is due at the time of the final exam. You may e-mail it to me or deliver it in person. If you e-mail it, do not assume I have received it until I reply to you that I have it.

1. Compare or contrast the role of the courtesan in the Epic of Gilgamesh to that of Eve in the biblical creation story. How do they function in their respective stories (protagonist, antagonist, etc.). Do the authors (traditions) intend us to see a connection between sex and some other aspect of human experience? If so, what? Is it the same in both stories?

2. One theme that recurs throughout the Hebrew Bible, and which we have returned to several times throughout the course, has been the relationship of YHWH worship the worship of the other gods of Canaan, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Trace the theme of the worship of Anat (/Ishtar) and her consort through various periods and literary surfacings as it is found in the Bible. How much of this is a foreign religion and how much is a variant version of YHWH worship? How does the issue of the gender of YHWH play into this recurring crisis in Israelite belief and practice? Is there evidence that hierodules played a part in YHWH worship?

3. Who is the Devil and where does he come from? Show how the view of Satan has developed from what we find in Job, Samuel and Chronicles into the several modern concepts of the adversary. Be sure to locate Zoroastrian influence and the Story of the Watchers in your account. How do the traditional Christian views of the diabolical world differ from traditional Jewish views? How did the problem of evil and the emergence of the apocalyptic worldview impact on this development?

4. Which of the psychological states associated with intermediary activity that we discussed in class are represented in the Bible? Give examples of each. Why do scholars disagree on these issues? What sorts of alternative views do different scholars propose?