Religion in

REL 237.001
Self, Society, and Religion

Dr. Vaia Touna

Office: 202 Manly Hall
Office Phone: 348-4617
Office Hour: R 11-12pm
Course: TR 12:30-1:45
Location: 207 Manly Hall

Books (required)


This course examines the ways in which individuals and groups develop a particular idea of the self. Why do we choose to join clubs or not? Is it an individual choice or a choice premised on larger social structures? Throughout the course we will be looking at different modern theories of the self, and how those may inform the way we understand the ancient world, and more specifically ancient Greece. Although the course surveys the socio-cultural context of ancient Greece (i.e., information on Gods, Heroes, Myths, and Social life), its focus is to case study what is known in modern scholarship as Mystery Cults (also known sometimes as voluntary associations). These clubs are considered by many scholars to be important elements of ancient Greco-Roman religion, in shaping particular kinds of selves within the Greco-Roman city-states. Looking at different modern scholarly approaches of the self the course examines how this modern classification, i.e., "mystery cults," helps scholars shape particular types of social space and selves in the ancient world, along with how naming things in the past can contribute to our own identity formation in the present. HU INB


Fall 2016 (PDF)