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View Diary: Camel Purée (198 comments)

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  •  Marvelous bits of information. (0+ / 0-)

    Are you a scholar in that area?

    Just asking, not challenging.

    •  I took a lot of Aramaic/Syriac (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      On a graduate level, and we were expected to familiarize ourselves with the context of the source material.  I'm not a professional scholar of ANE (Ancient Near East) religion myself, though I occasionally follow a small part of the very voluminous literature.

      •  In a prior "life" I was a Sanskritist and student (0+ / 0-)

        of general linguistics, studied many a dead or dying language as part of my pursuits, but never made it into the Semitic world (allergic to "bible" stuff, grew up in a socialist-atheist family...lot o' good that did, as all my brothers and sisters backslid into various religions and Republicanism).

        Was/is your field religion?

        •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

          Linguistics, like you.  I felt I needed some in-depth exposure to an outside language to counter the all-too-easily acquired illusion that Indo-European languages are language.

          However, the department that did Hebrew and Aramaic (but not, interestingly, Arabic!) was basically a "Bible Studies" department under another name; their linguistics was good, if rather parochial, but almost everything was filtered through the "What light does this shed on the Bible?" shelter.  Not from a literalist perspective, but still -- a little disconcerting to someone who approaches a language as a language, not a vehicle for religious thought.

          Luckily, I had some interest (and a little background) in the field (not, of course, as much as my fellow-students) and could keep up.  But it felt a lot like studying in a house of mirrors where priorities were continually upside-down.

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