Fall 2017

Please Note

Room locations and courses are subject to change. Please see the Class Schedules for updates. 

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Jewish Studies Courses

JDS 199SEM: UB Seminar – Modern Revolution: Industrial, Political, Social – Richard Cohen
T/R – 2:00-3:20
Baldy 119

Hardly any other events in modern human history have contributed more greatly to the transformation of humanity in its economic, social and political life than the industrial revolution (steam engine, railroad, factory line), the spread of democracy (American and French revolutions) and the spread of socialism (Russian and Chinese revolutions). Revolutions opened prospects such as the universal spread of democracy, the liberal transformation of religion, the growth of a worldwide metropolitan culture, and the prospect of general prosperity.  Seeking to better understand these opportunities by examining their beginnings, we will explore the old and the new in the prose and poetry of Kant, Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Nietzsche, and others.

JDS 199SEM: UB Seminar – Modern Revolution: Industrial, Political, Social – Richard Cohen
T/R  – 3:30-4:50
Clemens 19

Hardly any other events in modern human history have contributed more greatly to the transformation of humanity in its economic, social and political life than the industrial revolution (steam engine, railroad, factory line), the spread of democracy (American and French revolutions) and the spread of socialism (Russian and Chinese revolutions).  Revolutions opened prospects such as the universal spread of democracy, the liberal transformation of religion, the growth of a worldwide metropolitan culture, and the prospect of general prosperity.  Seeking to better understand these opportunities by examining their beginnings, we will explore the old and the new in the prose and poetry of Kant, Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Nietzsche, and others.

JDS 199SEM: UB Seminar – Justice – Sergey Dolgolpolski
T/TH 2:00-3:20
708 Clemens Hall

“A law that is not just is not law” said recently a protester against racial discrimination. This argument exemplifies a problem we will address in this course through reading, discussing, theatrically staging, and critically applying the work of the best writers and thinkers, both ancient and contemporary, who addressed the problem of justice in relationship to equality, law, and freedom. In that way, we will conduct a comparative study of the relationship between justice, law, and society in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Thought.

JDS 199SEM: UB Seminar – Origins of Good and Evil – Alexander Green
T/R  –  9:30-10:50
Clemens 708

Determining the origin of our moral beliefs and values is one of the central debates that has animated Western philosophers and theologians across time. One culture may consider a certain action morally correct and another culture may consider the same action morally incorrect. Why is that? How do we know what is good and evil, right and wrong? Is there one standard that unites different value systems or are all systems equally correct and variable? This course will not directly tackle the specific beliefs themselves (whether it be the ethics of war and peace, euthanasia, suicide, abortion or any such issue), but will seek to examine the different reasons that groups may arrive at diverse answers. We will read selections of classical works such as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Hebrew Bible, Aquinas’ Summa Theologicae, Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, Martin Buber’s I and Thou, and view a movie: Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.

JDS 199SEM   UB Seminar – Human and Animal – Noam Pines
T/R  –  11:00-12:20
Fillmore 328

The course will examine various depictions of human-animal relationship in Western literature and culture, from classical times to modern times. By looking at these texts, we will chart the emergence of a figure that occupies a borderline state between human and animal, and explore its implications for our understanding of Jewish and Christian relationships as well as human and animal nature. Readings include: Ovid, Marie de France, Hobbes, Shakespeare, Heine, Baudelaire, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Kafka, and more.

TNS 199SEM: UB Seminar – Genesis and Gender – Marla Segol
T/R  –  12:30-1:50
Clemens 708

This course will examine the meanings, interpretations, and applications of the Genesis stories in constructing and regulating gender roles in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It will examine sex and gender in the Biblical narrative, in Jewish interpretive literature, in Christian and Muslim scriptures, and in their commentary literature in late antiquity and the medieval period. The third portion of the class will discuss the activation of Genesis narratives in contemporary American political rhetoric on women’s communal and pastoral leadership, marriage, heteronormativity, contraception, and abortion. This course will show how the past affects the present, with attention to similarities and differences in the way people use religious discourse to shape their communities and their gender identities over time and across cultures.

JDS 208LEC/HIS 299LEC: Holocaust Lit & Culture – Noam Pines
T/R  – 2:00-3:20
Hoch 114

How does literature impact our understanding of the Holocaust? Is it possible to actually know this event? This course studies the Holocaust through a variety of genres, including poetry, novels, short stories, plays, and memoirs to gain a better understanding of the Holocaust as a significant event in world history. Students will study Holocaust and its political, cultural, and social implications through the lens of a variety of writers

JDS 210LEC/TNS 232LEC: Intro to Old Testament – Marla Segol
T/R  – 3:30-4:50
Clemens 708

Who wrote the Bible? Why did they do it? What did they want to say? And how do we know? In this course we will carefully read parts of the Hebrew Bible to understand the narratives in it, the social context in which they were written, and the ways in which they generate meaning. That means that we’ll begin with the primary text, we’ll contextualize it historically and socially, we’ll pay attention to its style, and we will try to identify and understand the big questions asked and answered in the stories we read.

JDS 253LEC/RSP 253LEC/PSC 380: Jewish, Christian, Islamic Ethics/Classic and Medieval Political Philosophy – Alexander Green
T/R  –  12:30-1:50 
Clemens 708

This course will look at how Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophers in the Middle Ages developed their political theories and codes of ethics in dialogue and debate with the classical philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. The course will also examine Machiavelli’s critique of these various attempts to synthesize medieval and classical ideas. Topics to be discussed include: God, the prophet, sacred texts, ethics, war, messianism and tolerance for those of other faiths.

JDS 399LEC: Redemption in Jewish Thought – Sergey Dolgopolski
T/R  –  11:00- 12:20
Clemens 708

A survey of various conceptions of Redemption, in contrast to personal salvation or purely secular utopianism, as the central purpose of Judaism.

Hebrew Courses

HEB 101LEC: Elementary Modern Hebrew – Lilia Dolgopolskaia
M/W/F  –  9:00-10:25
Clemens 708

The beginning course of Modern Israeli Hebrew. Essentials of grammar, syntax and conversational practice; elementary reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam.

HEB 201LEC: Intermediate Hebrew 1 – Lilia Dolgopolskaia
M/W  –  11:00-12:20
Clemens 708

Further development of language skills: listening comprehension, oral efficiency, intermediate grammar and syntax, reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam

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