Today I interviewed Erica Mongé-Greer, a PhD candidate at University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Erica is also an adjunct professor who teaches courses in Hebrew Bible, ancient Near Eastern culture and Semitic languages, like Hebrew and Akkadian. Her most recent faculty postings were at Northwest Christian University and University of Oregon in Eugene, where she lives with her partner, Joshua, their two children, Caleb and Emma and adopted dog, Zuzu. Erica’s research includes justice for the poor in the Hebrew Psalter, biblical ethics, and religion in science fiction.
We discuss ANE Creation Mythologies such as the Enuma Elish, the Memphite Theology, and Genesis 1-2. It’s a fascinating discussion that I believe my students will enjoy! Here’s the list of questions I asked:
- First, tell us about your professional training and what it is that you research and teach?
- This week my students will have juxtaposed the First and Second Creation Narratives of the Book of Genesis, so they’ve seen how these stories, while stitched together, are different. In the context of the Ancient Near East, how are these Israelite/Judahite accounts unique?
- My students will be reading excerpts from the Enuma Elish. Can you provide us with an overview of this creation account?
- How is Marduk, the patron god of Babylon, similar to and different from how the Hebrew account presents their god?
- In the Book of Genesis, taking both Creation Narratives into account, how would we summarize the purpose of humanity and how does this compare with the Enuma Elish?
- While my students won’t be asked to read from the Memphite Theology, it’s still relevant to this discussion. What is it and what story does it tell?
- Why is it important for students of the Bible to understand the Ancient Near East, Israel’s neighboring cultures, and comparative creation mythologies?