JDST 173 – Introducing Judaism

Alanna Cooper-Th- 4:00-6:30

This “topics” course offers an introduction to the academic study of Judaism. Whether approached through a particular theme or as a general historical introduction, each section of this course provides students with a general introduction to the academic study of religion and basic religious literacy in Jewish religious tradition, exploring forms of it in a diversity of cultural contexts around the world.  Section topics could include, but are not limited to:  Festivals and Holy Days, Women and Gender, Jewish Ethics.  Students may repeat the course for credit (up to 6 credits), provided that the two sections are different. Offered as RLGN 173 and JDST 173.

JDST 218: Jews in Early Modern Europe

Gillian Weiss– TR- 10:00-11:15

This course surveys the history of Jews in Europe and the wider world from the Spanish expulsion through the French Revolution.  Tracking peregrinations out of the Iberian Peninsula to the British Isles, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, Poland-Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire, and the American colonies, it examines the diverse ways Jews organized their communities, interacted with their non-Jewish neighbors, and negotiated their social, economic, and legal status within different states and empires.  What role did Jews play and what symbolic place did they occupy during a period of European expansion, technological innovation, artistic experimentation, and religious and political turmoil?  What internal and external dynamics affected Jewish experiences in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries?  Through a selection of inquisitorial transcripts, government records, memoirs, and historical literature, we will explore topics such as persecution, conversion, messianism, toleration, emancipation, and assimilation.  Offered as HSTY 218, JDST 218, and ETHS 218.