Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Tamara Prosic


Previously coded HSY3755


The unit introduces students to key themes for understanding the nature, the forms and the organizational structure of religion in ancient Mediterranean cultures, with particular reference to the ancient near east. It explores topics such as public and personal worship, religious personnel, organizations and bodies, types and functions of ritual practices (festivals, sacrifices, prayers, curses, divination, prophecy, etc.) sacred narratives, deities and demons. It also introduces students to theories on the development of ancient religions, exploring their wider social and cultural context through topics such as religion and law codes, women and religion, and religion and politics.


Upon the completion of the unit students will:

  1. be familiar with a range of ancient Mediterranean religions
  2. have an understanding of the complexity of ancient religions forms and basic principles of their organization and interactions with other social and cultural phenomena
  3. be familiar with major theoretical issues regarding development of religions
  4. be able to use ancient visual and written material as sources for the study
  5. be able to critically evaluate and analyse the similarities and the differences between different ancient religions
  6. have acquired the skills to analyze the ways in which religious symbols, institutions, practices, and beliefs both influence and are influenced by their wider social and cultural context.


Analytical exercise (500 words): 10%
Essay (2000 words): 50%
Tutorial presentation: 10%
Exam (1.5 hours): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Tamara Prosic

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Religion and theology
Jewish civilisation


ATS2610, SHS3010