Religions of the Jews


Despite the traditional belief that it has remained unchanged since its fundamental principles were given to Moses at Mt.Sinai, what is today known as Judaism is the product of several thousand years of evolution. During this time a number of distinct “Judaisms” have come into being, some of which (including “Christianity”) survive until this day.  Beginning in ancient times and concluding in the present, this course will survey the development of these various forms and the people associated with them by examining a range of primary and secondary sources.  The course will consist of both lectures and class discussions.  In addition, students will be required to write three short papers on assigned topics and to make a presentation related to the themes of the course.

  • Hebrew Bible
  • New Testament
  • Whitelam, The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History
  • Akenson, Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds
  • Shanks (ed.), Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple
  • Shanks (ed.), Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: A Parallel History of Their Origins and Parallel Development
  • Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud: An Introduction
  • Green, A Guide to the Zohar
  • Blau, Modern Varieties of Judaism
TAUGHT: SPRING 2004, SUMMER 2004, SPRING 2005, SPRING 2006, 
        SPRING 2007, SPRING 2008