20TH Century Jewish Philosophy (3 cr)
JSTU-J 303 Arts & Humanities Topics in Jewish Studies #19562 / PHIL-P 305 Topics in the Philosophy of Judaism / REL-D 362 Religious Issues in Contemporary Judaism
CASE A&H, CASE GCC, IW
From 1870 to the late twentieth century, Jewish thought and philosophy attempted to understand Judaism in response to the developments and crises of Jewish life in the modern world. In this course, we shall explore the responses of figures such as Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Hermann Cohen, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Joseph Soloveitchik, Emil Fackenheim, and Emmanuel Levinas. Central topics will concern ethics and politics, faith and revelation, redemption and messianism, and the religious responses to catastrophe and atrocity. We shall discuss Judaism in European culture before and after World War I, and we shall examine responses in North America to the Nazi Holocaust and the Six Day War. A central theme will be the ways in which attempts to understand Jewish experience are related to historical events and historical experience. The course is open to anyone with an interest in religious experience, philosophy, and/or Judaism in the twentieth century; no special background is required, but students should be prepared to read and examine challenging texts. The course is an Intensive Writing course.