The Epic of Gilgamesh: Bridging the Culture Gap between East and West

By Gerald Browning.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 14, 2014 $US5.00

The purpose of this work is to examine the unique perspectives that the epic saga of Gilgamesh offers to modern life, especially to the cultures of East and West. Set in the remote deserts of southern Mesopotamia (present day Iraq), Gilgamesh presents to the scholar and the student universal themes concerned with life and death, good v. evil, human mortality, and the quest for god. The epic is rich in bringing students to an understanding that there exists a common cultural ground that we can all live and learn from. Moreover, the epic teaches us that our lives are intertwined in the same complex web of human thought and action, and that we all moving along the same humanistic path, albeit with different instructions on where the end might be. The implications of this work are to bring students of different backgrounds, whether religious or cultural, together in examining what it means for all of us to be human.

Keywords: Gilgamesh, Humanities

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.53-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 14, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 331.167KB)).

Dr. Gerald Browning

Philosophy and Classical Literature Department, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

I am a member of the Philosophy / Classical Literature Department at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. My dissertation is concerned with the application of ancient biblical text to christian iconographic illumination in the early middle ages. As a result, my work has gradually moved toward an examination of the relevance of ancient text such as Gilgamesh to the core issues of modern life, especially those issues between Eastern and Western culture. I have a good number of Middle Eastern students here at the university. They have rich ideas on how en epic tale such as Gilgamesh can help to bridge the gap between East and West by exploring our common humanity.