Religious Studies | Religion and Culture: Studies in American Judaism: Theological and Cultural Perspectives
R660 | 25884 | Magid, S.


The course will examine Jews and Judaism in 19th and 20th century
America. It will focus on the development and transformation of
Judaism in America beginning as a European religion planted in
American soil to one that not only adapted to the American religious
landscape but was profoundly changed by the American experience.
Topics will include: American rabbinic reconstructions of Jesus as a
Jew; Abraham Lincoln as an American “Jewish” hero; pluralism and the
challenge to divine election; the ‘melting pot’ and cultural
pluralism from a Jewish perspective;  social ethics, Jewish law, and
the public sphere; ultraorthodox immigration and the new bourgeois
ghetto; Chabad as an American Hasidism; Jewish Renewal and the
American counter-culture; the normalization of intermarriage, post-
ethnicity and undoing Judaism’s ethnic myth; and the Artscroll
translation project and the new Jewish library. We will read from
the works of Kaufmann Kohler, Solomon Schechter, Felix Adler, Horace
Kallen, Abba Hillel Silver, Mordecai Kaplan, Louis Finkelstein, Meir
Kahane, David Novak, Menahem Mendel Schneersohn, Zalman Schachter-
Shalomi, among others. Our approach will incorporate cultural
studies, ethnic studies, nationalism, post-ethnic studies, history
and theology.