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Desire, Discord and Death
Approaches to the Ancient near Eastern Myth

By Neal Walls

Desire, Discord and Death
Paperback, 220 pages £12.00
Published: 2001
ISBN: 9780897570558
Format: 228mm x 151mm
Buy this Book

Hardback, 220 pages £16.00
Published: 2001
ISBN: 9780897570565
Format: 228mm x 151mm
Buy this Book

Subjects: American Schools of Oriental Research, Ancient Near East, Egyptology

The three essays presented in this volume reveal the symbolic complexity and poetic visions of ancient Near Eastern mythology. The author explores the interrelated themes of erotic desire, divine conflict, and death's realm in selected ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian mythological narratives using contemporary methods of literary analysis. Topics include the construction of desire in the Gilgamesh epic, a psychoanalytic approach to 'The Contendings of Horus and Seth', and gender and the exercise of power in the stormy romance of Nergal and Ereshkigal. Walls' fresh treatment of these three important myths brings them to life for the specialist and mythology buff alike.

Introduction: Hidden Riches in Secret Places Methods and Approaches

1. The Allure of Gilgamesh: The Construction of Desire in the Gilgamesh Epic

Introduction: The Construction of Desire: Queering Gilgamesh

The Erotic Gilgamesh: The Prostitute and the Primal Man: Inciting Desire, The Gaze of Ishtar: Denying Desire, Heroic Love: Requiting Desire, The Death of Desire


2. On the Couch with Horus and Seth: A Freudian Analysis

Introduction: Oedipus in Ancient Egypt

A Contentious Court: Two Episodes: The Insult and the Enigma, Island Intrigue

The Three Contests: Under the Water, In the Bed, On the Boat


3. Desire in Death’s Realm: Sex, Power, and Violence in “Nergal and Ereshkigal”

Introduction: Giving Death its Due

Crucible of Desire: Ereshkigal’s Wiles

A Goddess Scorned: Ereshkigal’s Complaint

To Reign in Hell: Nergal’s Return, Gender and Power

Conclusion: Desire and Death


Subject Index

Text Index

Neal Walls is Associate Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Wake Forest University. A scholar of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and related ancient Near Eastern texts, Walls is fascinated by the breadth, depth, and complexity of Old Testament literature. He enjoys helping students to become skillful interpreters of scripture, to appreciate the diversity of theological perspectives within the canon, and to reclaim the Old Testament’s abundant theological imagination for the church’s ministries today. Walls also leads pilgrimages and travel programs to Africa and the Middle East.

Desire, Discord and Death
Desire, Discord and Death - Approaches to the Ancient near Eastern Myth - Paperback cover

Desire, Discord and Death
Desire, Discord and Death - Approaches to the Ancient near Eastern Myth - Hardback cover

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 220 pages
 228mm x 151mm

 Hardback , 220 pages
 228mm x 151mm

BIC Code:
  HIS002000, HIS026000, SOC011000
 American Schools of Oriental Research


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