JDS 103: Introduction to Judaism
Survey of Judaism and the rich Jewish legacy: basic philosophical, theological, social, and political values and practices of Judaism as they developed over time in a variety of social and political environments.
JDS 275: History of Antisemitism
Crosslist: HIS 290
History of Antisemitism: From Antiquity to the Present
The course examines the history of antisemitism from antiquity to the present by focusing on central questions such as: What is the definition of antisemitism and what are its historical origins? How did anti-Jewish attitudes develop over time in non-Jewish societies? What are the main historical events associated with antisemitism? And what role does antisemitism play in the world today? The course will examine antisemitism as a central phenomenon of Western history, and survey its different manifestations in the pagan world of antiquity, medieval Christian society, as well as in modern Europe and North America.
JDS 199: Modern Revolutions
Hardly any other events in human history have contributed more greatly to the transformation of humanity and its self-understanding after the rise of modern science, than the industrial revolution (steam engine, railroad, factory line), the spread of democracy (American and French revolutions) and the spectre of socialism (Russian revolution). They 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 ends by examining their beginnings, we will explore the old and the new in the prose and poetry of such thinkers and artists as Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Dostoyevsky, Darwin, Bergson and Nietzsche, among others.
JDS 199: Justice
"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 199: Violence and Religion
From the Crusades to current warring in the Middle East, tremendous violence has been committed in the name of religion. But what is the relationship if any between religious beliefs and practices and violent acts carried out in the name of religion? Has religion contributed to greater peace or to greater violence in society? To answer these questions, we will examine religious sources, films, political texts, and historical documents from a variety of religious traditions and geographical contexts. Through our exploration of the interrelationships between violence, religion, and peace, students interested in international politics, history, religion, and gender and sexuality will gain critical insight into dynamics which continue to shape twenty-first century societies and cultures.
JDS 199: Violence and Religion
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 Platos Republic, Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics, Hebrew Bible, Aquinas¿ Summa Theologicae, Nietzsches Genealogy of Morals, Martin Bubers I and Thou, and view a movie: Woody Allens Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Special Topic: Redemption in Jewish Thought
Crosslist: COL 525 / JDS 460
Special Topic: Frankfurt School (Graduate)
In the 20th century aftermath of Stalinist oppression in the Soviet Union and the stability, prosperity and spread of Capitalism almost everywhere else, a group of progressive scholars of politics and culture associated into what has come to be called the Frankfurt School - including Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm and the Eugen Habermas - initiated a profound critical reassessment of Western social, cultural and politics values, rethinking Marxist orthodoxy, deepening the critique of Capitalist ideology, and re-evaluating the import and impact of technology and mass culture. Today’s globalization, ubiquitous capitalist commodification, administrative mentality, standardization and surveillance unprecedented in human history - renders their analyses and diagnoses even more relevant. We will examine selected readings from key works of the above authors.
Special Topics Jewish Thought
Crosslist: COL 711 / LAW 761
Special Topic: Subjectivity in Literature and the Biblical G-d
The course will explore how the Bible emerged as a site of intersection between Jewish, Christian, and allegedly non-theological but rather literary-theoretical and political theoretical interpretation in the major theoretical frameworks of the XX century literary, critical, and political Jewish and Christian thought. This course is the same as COL703 and course repeat rules will apply.
Elementary Modern Hebrew 1
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
Intermediate Hebrew 1
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.