Topics in Jewish Studies: A Bridge to Scholarship
Syllabus, Spring, 1989
Professors Zahavy, Bachrach, Sellew, Berman, Cooperman, Krislov, Prell, Feinstein
Cindy Reich, Consultant
Through lectures, reading and discussion, this course presents an approach to the scholarly analysis of Judaism from Biblical times to the present day. The course employs the basic notion of a religious system and traces the major shifts and transformations within Judaism from one historical system to another.
J. Neusner, Death and Birth of Judaism, Basic Books
Additional textbooks will be added.
Additional readings will be assigned for each class meeting.
Course requirements and Grading: All students must complete reading assignments of each lecture. Additional materials will be added through the quarter. Students will write a variety of papers, exams and assignments. Students will be responsible for supplementary readings as assigned. All students must attend the scheduled lectures and may elect to attend one of the recitation sections to be announced. Grading: ABCDF or S/N. S=C or better; No incompletes.
March 27-8: Zahavy
The concept of religious system; the Judaism of the Dual Torah
The religion of ancient Israel contrasted with the classical rabbinic system
April 3-4: Bachrach, Sellew
The challenge of Christianity to Judaism from the first to fourth centuries.
April 10-11: Bachrach, Feinstein
Panel discussion: Enlightenment, emancipation, the emergence of modernity.
April 17-18: Krislov
Zionism as a modern Judaic system
April 24-25: Berman
Yiddishism and socialism as systemic alternatives for Jews.
May 1-2: Cooperman, Feinstein
Panel discussion: The holocaust and its impact on the formation of American Judaism.
May 8-9: Cooperman
The sociology of Jewish communities
May 15-16: Prell, Zahavy
American Judaic systems: religious divisions and denominations.
May 22-23: Prell
Reversion and other alternative responses to modern Judaic system formation.
May 29-30: Reich, Zahavy
Synthesis and analysis of the systemic approach; practical pedagogic applications and extensions.
An institutional grant from the Wexner Foundation supported the planning and development of this course.