R345 | 25401 | Magid, S

This course will address the tension between Jewish notions of
tradition and modernity. Some of the questions examined will be:
What does the concept “tradition” mean in Judaism? How does it
function? Is tradition viewed as divinely given, inspired, or
humanly determined in modern Judaism? If it is a combination of the
three how is it constructed, e.g. what are its dominant traits and
parameters? Is tradition a modern concept developed to fight the
onslaught of liberalization and reform, or did it exist before the
modern period? In short, is “tradition” traditional? We will read
sociological studies (Jewish and general) about the impact of
modernity on traditional societies followed by modern Jewish
thinkers who grappled with these issues. This will include the rise
of Jewish fundamentalism as a critical response to modernity. Topics
will include canon, history, secularism, Zionism, religious
authority, fundamentalism, and    gender.