Listening to Divinity, from Antiquity to Twenty-First-Century America

Timothy Power (Classics)

The seminar considers the auditory experience of the divine—how humans hear their gods—across a range of historical epochs and religious cultures. We begin in Ancient Greece, Rome, and India. Then, after looking back to the sonic revelations of divinity in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament, we examine the role of divine sound in the Christian tradition of the Catholic Middle Ages, the American Protestant “Great Awakenings,” and Mormonism. We also look at “cults” in the contemporary US, in particular the phenomenon of “channeling.” We conclude with the “songlines” of indigenous Australians, and consider the place of sacred sound in the Aboriginal vision of world creation by the gods.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 67 index 09043