WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2006-2007       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Jewish Tradition, Its Texts and Contexts

HIST 105
Fall 2006
Section: 01  
Certificates: Jewish and Israel Studies

This course will explore the historical development of "Jewish tradition" through its texts and contexts, theory and practice. What is this tradition based on? How has it been shaped? We will examine the values it represents and the mechanisms of transmitting these values from generation to generation. Is it permissible to touch a menstruating woman? Or eat with gentiles? Who is allowed to study the Torah? Why does the morning prayer Jewish men say in the morning include negative definition of their identity when they thank God for not making them a woman, or a gentile, or a slave? What is the attitude toward war? The above questions are questions hotly debated by rabbinic authorities. Reading major primary sources on which the Jewish tradition is based: The Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, Rabbinic responsa, Jewish chronicles will help us to explore questions of identity, religion and gender, questions of boundaries, and of role of history and memory in fashioning collective identities. Reading these texts we will also explore their historical context in which they emerged and how this historical context shaped them, and how the subsequent generations had to wrestle with these established traditions to understand them in their own contexts.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning, Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Credit/Unsatisfactory
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-23-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459