Jewish Studies | Torah, Temple, and God in Ancient Judaism
J303 | 29289 | Mokhtarian, J

Course Description
Torah, Temple, and God in Ancient Judaism (3 cr.)
J. Mokhtarian
JSTU-J 303 Social and Historical Topics in Jewish Studies #29289 /
REL-A 300 Studies in African, European, and West Asian Religions
TR 9:30-10:45

This course traces three of the ideological bedrocks of Ancient
Judaism through the reading of primary and secondary sources.
Throughout the semester, students are exposed to a wide spectrum of
literary genres, beliefs, and key events in Ancient Judaism
beginning with the promulgation of the authoritative code of the
Torah under the Persian Achaemenid Empire (circa 458 B.C.E.) up to
the Rabbinic composition of the Mishnah (circa 200 C.E.). Topics
covered include the role of the Persian Empire in the history of the
Torah and the Second Temple; the deep impact of Hellenism on ancient
Jewish cultures; the Hasmonean revolt; the canonization of the Torah
and the tradition of the rewritten Bible; the Jewish diaspora in
Egypt; Philo; the Dead Sea Scrolls; the destruction of the Temple;
and the emergence of the Rabbinic movement. This course guides
students through the scholarly process of performing close readings
of primary texts from within their respective historical and
cultural contexts. Texts to be read in translation include Ezra-
Nehemiah, Daniel 1-6, 1 Enoch, Wisdom of Ben Sira, 1 and 2
Maccabees, Dead Sea Scrolls (e.g., Community Rule), and Mishnah
Avot. Supplementary assignments include numerous introductory
articles, as well as S. Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society; S.
Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah; J. Vanderkam, An
Introduction to Early Judaism; E.P. Sanders, Judaism: Practice and
Belief: 63 BCE-66 CE.

Fulfills: CASE A&H, Jewish Studies Religion & Thought course