Upcoming Jewish Studies Courses: Fall 2014

HEB 170: Modern Elementary Hebrew I
MW  3:35-5:15, Prof. Luceil Friedman

This course is designed for students with no prior experience in the language.  Special emphasis is placed on active communication to develop oral and comprehension skills.

HEB 270: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
MW  1:40-3:20, Prof. Luceil Friedman

This course provides intensive development of all language skills, focused emphasis on reading and composition.  Students will learn to describe, analyze, and express opinions on cultural topics.  Prerequisite:  HEB 171 or permission by chair of the department.

HST 338: Germany: War, Democracy and Hitler, 1914-1945
MWF  9:25-10:35, Prof. David Crowe

This course will explore the history of Germany from the outbreak of World War I through the end of World War II. It begins with an examination of the Second Reich (1871-1918) but concentrates on the two world wars and Germany's experiments with democracy during the Weimar Republic and dictatorship during the Nazi era.

HST 339: History of the Holocaust
MWF 10:50-12:00, Prof. David Crowe

This history of the Holocaust explores the roots of this event, beginning with historical anti-Semitism and the impact of this tradition on Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. Topics also include Hitler's racial policies between 1933-1938, their spread throughout Nazi Europe between 1939-1941, the evolution of the Final Solution from 1941-45 and post-World War II Holocaust developments and questions.

POL 366: Middle East Politics
MW  3:35-5:15, Prof. Sarah Salwen

This course studies Middle Eastern political dynamics and institutions, contemporary issues and problems of selected Middle Eastern and North African countries.

REL 205: Jewish Traditions
MWF  12:15-1:25, Prof. Geoffrey Claussen

This course traces the history of the Jewish community from its origins in ancient Israel to the present day, considering the evolution of its major ideas and practices as well as the diversity of Jewish cultures throughout the world. We will explore a range of classical and contemporary Jewish approaches to theology, ethics, ritual, gender, peoplehood, spirituality, authority, and relations with other communities.

REL 212: An Introduction to the New Testament and Early Christian Literature
MWF  10:50-12:00

In this course students approach the writings of early Christianity as literary and rhetorical responses to ancient social, political, and religious concerns. Students are introduced to the multi-faceted worlds surrounding the emerging Christian communities, as well as some of the realities created by these writings. In so doing, this course equips students with the tools for reading complex and ancient texts from a critical perspective.

REL 367: Religion and Empire in Late Antiquity
MW  1:40-3:20, Prof. Michael Pregill

This course examines the complex interrelationships between empire and religion in Late Antiquity. We explore how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam developed in this era, taking on their definitive shapes and becoming “world religions.” We focus on the intertwined themes of belief, authority, community, and identity as we proceed through the eras of Greek, Roman, Persian, and Arab-Islamic dominion in the Near East and Mediterranean.

REL 461: War in the Jewish Tradition
MW  3:35-5:15, Prof. Geoffrey Claussen

From the commands to wage war in the Bible to the anti-war movements of the twentieth century, in debates about war in contemporary America and in debates about war in contemporary Israel, members of Jewish communities have had much to say about the dangers of war and the possible justifications for war. This course explores how Jews have related to earlier Jewish traditions about war as they have considered the morality of war in various contexts; we will give particular attention to the uses of the Jewish tradition in contemporary discussions about war.

Also, now is the time to sign up for one of two Winter 2015 Jewish Studies study-abroad opportunities!

GST 240-IS/ENG 240-IS: Holocaust Journey (Winter-Term Study Abroad)
Prof. Lee and Prof. Vellani

This course will allow participants to learn about the Holocaust through tours of concentration/extermination camps, ghettos and discussions with Holocaust scholars and survivors. The course originates in Amsterdam, continues to Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow and Prague, and concludes in Nuremberg, Germany — all significant locations for Jews during the Holocaust.  Students will also have the opportunity to visit Jewish museums and archives, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, as well as more traditional tourist attractions such as cathedrals, castles and art museums. Preparation for the course will include reading the novel Treblinka (Jean-Francoise Steiner) and Night (Elie Wiesel). Students will also keep a journal and conduct research throughout the journey and will prepare their final project after they return to the States. Class discussions will occur throughout the term. Free time will be available in every city for individual research and exploration.

GST 289-IS: Israel, Palestinian Territories and Jordan: Living Stones of Peace (Winter-Term Study Abroad)
Prof. Fuller and Prof. Landesberg

This study abroad course will explore the religious, cultural, historical, and socio-economic dimensions of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. We will consider how Israeli and Palestinian people live together given a history of mistrust, intolerance, and violence, and what justice implies in such settings. Students will spend time with people from diverse religious and cultural communities and will hear stories that express the painful and joyous realities that make up life in Israel, Jordan, and Palestinian territories. We will visit Christian, Jewish, and Muslim holy sites and begin to understand the basic tenets, similarities, and differences between these faiths. Students will critically examine contexts and models of reconciliation through historical texts, comparative religious study, and encounters with individuals and organizations, grass roots movements, and in situ contexts where people of differing commitments live peacefully and hospitably, and also with great tension, alongside one another. The ultimate goal of this course is for students to be able to articulate many layers of this conflict, to experience compassion for all those impacted, and to critically analyze opportunities for peace.