RELST 2644

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2016-2017. Courses of Study 2017-2018 is scheduled to publish mid-June.

In this course, students will survey the development of Judaism from its roots in ancient Mesopotamia to modernity. Rather than thinking of Judaism as static and easily definable, we will explore a history that is complex and dynamic. Over the three thousand year period that we will be studying, individuals and groups who identified themselves as Israelites or Jews developed a remarkable variety of beliefs and practices in conversation and in competition with other groups, including Christianity and Islam. We will examine trends and key moments of this process in order to understand how continuity and change, the construction of identity, and the competition for legitimacy have shaped our contemporary ideas about what Judaism is. We will approach this subject from a historical perspective, analyzing material evidence and reading texts from each period in translation, and from a religious studies perspective, carefully observing how the meaning of categories such as religion and Judaism change over time. A better understanding of these changes can help us better to appreciate difference and conflict both ancient and contemporary.

When Offered Spring.

Breadth Requirement (GHB)
Distribution Category (HA-AS)

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  • Enrollment Information
    Combined with: ANTHR 2644JWST 2644NES 2644

  • 3 Credits Stdnt Opt