Fall 2023

Fall 2023 Undergraduate Courses

JDS 103: Introduction to Judaism                 
Professor Catlin                        
Monday/ Wednesday         
Clemens 708
Class #17719
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 199: Justice 
Professor Dolgopolski  
12:30-1:50 p.m.
Clemens 102
Class # 17282
"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 
Professor Catlin
Clemens 202
Class # 17009
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 To answer these questions, we will examine religious sources, films, political texts, and historical documents from a variety of religious traditions and geographical contexts.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 275: History of Antisemitism              
Professor Pines                            
11:00-12:20 p.m.
Baldy 110
Class #22116
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.

Fall 2023 Graduate Courses

JDS 526 “Literature as Messiah.”             
Special Topics Jewish Thought                          
Professor Dolgopolski                             
Clemens 708  
Class #19449               
How literature and messiah relate to each other?  We will draw on Erich Auerbach’s answer to this question in order to explore and complicate relationships between testament, testimony, witness and literature in late antiquity and modernity. Auerbach sees the emergence of “European Literature” as a fusion of the “Homeric style” and “Biblical style.  The former describes and makes explicit everything – past and present alike -- in the “foreground.” The latter accounts for the significance of the ever dark/inexplicit past of the “background” for the readers’ future to remain as promising as never fully detailed. Departing from this starting point, the seminar will comparatively explore the testament to the law in late antiquity (both in its Christian version in the New Testament and in its rabbinic version of a testament paralleling the Scripture in the Mishnah) in relationships to the “literature” – first in Auerbach’s sense and then in the broader theoretical context of contemporary discussions of tensions and dependencies between literature and testimony. Our guiding theoretical concern will be the role of the literary figure of a specific human and/or divine messiah in “literature” on the one hand and the “literature” as the intrinsically messianic form of reading and creating the human condition on the other.       

Fall 2023 Hebrew Courses

HEB 101              
Elementary Modern Hebrew 1  
Lilia Dolgopolskaia                        
Clemens 217                           
Class #14104

The beginning course of Modern Israeli Hebrew. Essentials of grammar, syntax and conversational practice; elementary reading and writing, common expressions used in daily life, along with introductory knowledge about Israeli culture.

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