Courses

REL 111 Introduction to Hebrew Bible Studies 

An introduction to the academic study of the literature of the Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha/Deutero-canon with an emphasis on selected writings, themes, and methods of interpretation. Students will also become familiar with extra-biblical sources (textual and archaeological) which contribute to understanding the Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha/Deutero-canon in their historical, socio-economic, theological, and literary contexts.

REL 239 From the Middle Ages to Holocaust

From the Middle Ages up until World War II, Europe was home to the more than half of the world's Jews. During this period, Jews developed rich social, cultural, and intellectual lives in communities throughout Europe, despite having limited rights and opportunities as well as being subject to periodic persecution, expulsion and violence. By the end of World War II, however, over two-thirds of Europe's 9.5 million Jews had been killed, and most of those who survived had fled to other parts of the world. Studying abroad during January term, this course will explore "lived Judaism" in four pivotal centers of Jewish life—Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, and Krakow—up until the Holocaust, as well as learn how each of these communities was decimated as part of the Nazi Final Solution by visiting concentration camps, museums and memorials in these locations.

REL 251 Judaism

The course will provide a basic introduction to the development of Judaism as a religious culture from its beginnings to the present day. By reading primary texts from the bibical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods, students will examine religious experiences, worldviews, beliefs, behaviors, and symbols of the Jewish tradition, and the historical forces—cultural, political, social and economic—that have shaped Judaism. Throughout the course we will address issues raised by the history of Judaism that are particularly relevant today—imperialism, genocide, post-Holocaust theology, the State of Israel, gender, and so on.

REL 270 Religious Identity and Interfaith Engagement

This course explores issues of religious identity and interfaith engagement in a pluralistic world. Through a variety of methods, including textual study, theoretical reflection and a case study approach, we will discuss questions such as: "what is religious identity?" "is it possible to identify with more than one religious tradition?" "can one remain committed to a single religious tradition in a pluralistic world?" and "how can people of different faiths build relationships with each other and work together for the common good?" In addition, this course will examine interreligious encounters in a variety of contexts (in the United States and globally), and analyze responses to religious pluralism from a number of different religious perspectives.