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About us Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society Organization Staff PhD Research Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins

Mijna Hadders-Algra

You and Me, Us and Them: it’s in the eyes! An analysis of role of the eyes in Ancient Mediterranean narratives.

The human, in general, is the species that is most specialized to interact and collaborate with conspecifics. It has been postulated that the emergence of group-minded behaviour was the last major transition in the evolution of mankind; humans needed each other in the form of groups in order to promote survival, implying that not the single human being was the selection unit of evolution but the group of human beings. As a result mankind is equipped in particular to collaborate with close relatives and fellows of the clan. Human adults do not automatically care for strangers; human altruism is parochial in origin. In other words, humans have capacities for collaboration and competition.

Interpersonal communication - both verbal and non-verbal - is a major human means to find the right balance between cooperation and competition. In the non-verbal communication the face and especially the eyes play a major role.

Neurobiology indicates that the eyes and gaze play a central role in human social interaction: the eyes and gaze are critical in facial expression; and facial expression, in turn, is crucial in human social encounters. Based on this neurobiological framework, the aim of the present project is to explore the discourse on “viewing of the other” in e arly Judaism and early Christianity in their Greco-Roman cultural context.

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta

Laatst gewijzigd:12 juni 2023 20:33