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Extra info for Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction
McCutcheon; London and New York: Cassell, 2000), 409–22 provides a useful model for thinking about culture. Culture, according to Lincoln, may be considered to be composed of two major domains of human preferences: ethics (what is good) and aesthetics (what is pleasing). These two domains are always present in culture. Religion, as he defines it (see below), is a third, potential component that does not offer unique content (for ethics and aesthetics subsume all cultural content) but authorizes particular ethical and aesthetic preferences in a way that gives them supra-human or transcendent authority.
They are part and parcel of a whole network of social activities that reflect and perpetuate the broader social formation that uses them. , 490). 19 Even the person praying spontaneously while completely alone will have had some communal and institutional influence. How else would they know how to pray or to whom to direct it? , 490. 8 READING AKKADIAN PRAYERS AND HYMNS: AN INTRODUCTION to take these aspects into consideration explicitly when reading prayers and hymns—even if the evidence for determining the details of a practice, community, or institution is more limited than one would like—may lead to failing to understand fully or seriously misunderstanding the prayers one reads and the humans who produced and/or utilized them.
The scribal metadata)? And if not, should this be a concern? To the first question, the answer will have to be a firm no; the present definition actually cuts across various Mesopotamian scribal categories. The answer to the second question should probably be both yes and no. It should be a concern that the present definition does not correspond to any ancient category and one ought to remain aware of the fact that a modern scholarly conceptualization of categories is different from the indigenous Mesopotamian ones.