Anthropology | Life Cycle Celebrations in Judaism
E600 | 0426 | Goldberg


The course will survey life-cycle celebrations relating to birth,
education, marriage and death as they appear in textual sources of
different periods and as they have been recorded and analyzed by
ethnographers.  The readings and class materials will reflect changes in
these celebrations that have taken place over time, as well as how they
fit into Jewish life in different parts of the world.  Discussions will
also show how these celebrations are linked to communal institutions and
to other practices such as pilgrimages.  Another theme will be the very
appearance of the notion of "life-cycle" as a major axis around which
Jewish life is organized.  This will lead to a consideration of recent
developments such as the growing place of women in life-cycle rituals, and
the emergence of the individual in Jewish consciousness.