Religious Studies | Introduction to Judaism
R245 | 11922 | S. Magid


Class carries COLL A&H AND Culture Studies A distribution

section 11923 for Jewish Studies students only, obtain on-line
permission for the above class by contacting Jewish Studies advisor

This course will explore the development of what has become known
as “Judaism.” Beginning with the religion of Ancient Israel (or
proto-Judaism) we will trace the development of a small and
insignificant desert tribe into one of the world’s major religions.
We will begin by discussing the concept of “religion” more
generally, what it implies and if, in fact, it even exists. We will
then turn to the Jewish traditions from the Bible to modern times.
Our focus will be more theoretical than historical-looking at the
ways Jews created, adopted, and utilized ideas in response to their
cultural surroundings and through their interpretation of canonical
texts. Topics will include the concepts of covenant, law, election,
reason, mysticism, heresy, land, diaspora, destruction, culture, and
ethics. We will read from the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Talmud,
Maimonides, the Karaites, Zohar, Spinoza, Sabbateai Tzi, the Baal
Shem Tov, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Mordecai Kaplan, and Elie
Weisel.