Inanna: Sumeria's Erotic Goddess, and Solomon's Song

Saturday, September 20, 2014
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
Saturdays, September 20 – October 25 (class will not meet October 18)

 1 – 3 pm

Led by Susanne Sklar

Inanna’s story may be the oldest on earth. In it, the goddess copes with a serpent-infested tree, tricks the god of wisdom, builds human civilization, delights in extravagant sexual joy, and descends to the underworld. We will compare this Sumerian mythology with later biblical writing, tracking Innana’s influence on depctions of Abraham (whose father came from Ur, one of Inanna’s cities) and the Song of Solomon. By putting Innana’s story in conversation with these texts, we will explore provocative erotic and theological questions. Please read “The Huluppu Tree” and “Inanna and the God of Wisdom” in Wolkstein and Kramer’s Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Susanne Sklar, presently writing about the feminine and the divine, holds a PhD in philosophy and has taught religion and literature at Oxford, Northwestern, Shimer, and Carthage College.

Materials List

Required Text(s):

  • Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth. Harper Row. ISBN 978-0060908546

  • The Bible, King James Version OR Revised Standard Version.

Readings for the First Session:

  • Please read “The Huluppu Tree” and “Inanna and the God of Wisdom” in Wolkstein and Kramer’s Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth.’

CPDU credit for this course is available for Illinois teachers seeking recertification. For more information see the Registration Information page.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program.

Cost and registration information: 

Five sessions, $170.
Register Online.