ATS2610 - Ancient religions - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Centre for Religious Studies


Dr Tamara Prosic

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


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 analyse the ways in which religious symbols, institutions, practices, and beliefs both influence and are influenced by their wider social and cultural context.In addition, students at 3rd-year level will have enhanced skills in the formulation of an independent research project and development of analytical skills in writing research essays in greater depth with thorough documentation derived from extensive use of primary sources and thorough examination of the research literature, including journal articles.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


ATS3610, SHS2010