Religious Studies | Topics in Religous Studies: Judaism and the Holocaust
R202 | 16130 | B. Krawcowicz

The above course carries AH distribution. Meets the Western Religous
Tradition requirement in the major and minor.

The Holocaust is arguably one of the most horrifying events of
modern - Jewish and non-Jewish - history. Events of this magnitude
could not have remained without impact on the ways in which we
understand reality. It prompted numerous thinkers to ask questions
about modernity, progress, and humanity. Some asked questions about
God. In this course we will explore Jewish theological responses to
the Nazi assault against European Jewry.

We will study both war-time and post-war writings. Some of the
authors whose thoughts we will explore found themselves in the
ghettos of the Nazi occupied Europe. Some witnessed the events from
a geographical distance living in England or Mandate Palestine.
Still others started to struggle with the Holocaust and its
consequences for Judaism only in the late 1960s. Although posed in
different circumstances all of them asked similar questions which
perhaps come down to this one - how is it possible to reconcile the
idea of an omnipotent and benevolent God who is present in history
with the reality of mass suffering and destruction?

In this course we will explore various answers to this and other
questions and see in what ways the Holocaust affected and perhaps
transformed core ideas of Judaism.