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Sounding Sensory Profiles in The Ancient Near East
Annette Schellenberg, Thomas Kruger, editors
Publication Date
July 2019



An interdisciplinary essay collection from an international group of experts

For several decades sociologists and cultural anthropologists have intensively researched the role of the senses in a variety of cultures, and their studies show how diverse cultures understand and evaluate the five or more senses differently. In this collection of eighteen essays, biblical and ancient Near Eastern scholars, as well as cultural anthropologists, apply the questions and methods from anthropological and sociological studies to Israel, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Experts offer insights into the meaning of the senses in the ancient world, examining the classical senses (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting) as well as other senses (such as kinesthesis and the sense of balance) and sense-related issues (such as disgust, sensory imagination, and disabilities). This collection provides a stimulus and a basis for students and scholars to explore the senses in the ancient Near East.


  • Exploration of the relationship between sensory experience and reasoning
  • Assessments of how theory and practice of the senses relate to each other
  • Essays examining connections between emotions and senses

Annette Schellenberg is Professor of Old Testament in the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Vienna. She is the author of Der Mensch, das Bild Gottes? Zum Gedanken einer Sonderstellung des Menschen im Alten Testament und in weiteren altorientalischen Quellen (2011).

Thomas Krüger is Professor of Old Testament at the University of Zurich. He is the author of Qoheleth: A Commentary (2004) and Das menschliche Herz und die Weisung Gottes: Studien zur alttestamentlichen Anthropologie und Ethik (2009).

Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.

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