MA History / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Jews among Christians and Muslims

Course unit fact file
Unit code RELT71152
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


"Jewish studies" may be understood broadly as the study of Jewish history and culture, in all its manifestations. To study it at university level is to combine the traditions of disciplined academic research with the richness of Jewish culture and experience. This course will approach the subject from the perspective of the history of Jewish/non-Jewish relations, specifically, Jewish engagement with Christian and Islamic religious cultures, and with “secular” Western modernity, of which the academic study is a part. As a team-taught course, it draws on expertise in the development of the modern academic study of Judaism, of its ancient Hellenistic and Christian contexts, Judaism’s encounter with modernity and modern Christianity, and Jews in the context of Middle Eastern Muslim and Arab culture in the pre-Zionist and Zionist periods. 


  • To develop a critical awareness of the profound level of interaction between Jewish thought and culture with non-Jewish thought and culture in history.
  • To integrate critical perspectives of academic study of Judaism (and religious traditions more generally) into independent research, in contrast to other possible perspectives
  • To develop skills in the analysis of the arguments of scholars of Jewish Studies and to develop skills in researching, presenting and defending conclusions on a topic of Jewish/Non-Jewish historical interaction.


Knowledge and understanding

  • a good familiarity with the specifics of, and critical scholarship on, a topic of Jewish history and culture, including its Greaco-Roman, Christian, Muslim or secular contexts
  • critical awareness of and ability to select appropriately for independent research from the variety of academic approaches in the disciplines of Jewish Studies 

Intellectual skills

  • Analytical skills in considering diverse approaches to evidence
  • Critical evaluation of arguments and approaches
  • Skills in argument
  • Independent research
  • Awareness of the role of interpretation in academic approaches


Practical skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively in a group
  • Time management
  • Ability to structure an extended piece of writing
  • Apply key skills in analytical interpretation


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  •  Strengthened interpersonal and communicative skills
  •  Heightened awareness of and responsiveness to cultural diversity and intercultural communication
  •  Skills in presenting complex information and analysis in a precise and orderly fashion.
  • Refined problem-solving skills and demonstrate the ability to locate, analyse and utilise information.

Employability skills

¿ Independent research ¿ Clear and orderly communications ¿ Critical evaluation ¿ Reliability and punctuality ¿ Use of web-based information sources, as well as of printed materials

Assessment methods

Draft essay plan 0%
Essay 100%


Feedback methods


Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Verbal or written feedback on draft Essay plan


Written feedback on essay


For the SALC Postgraduate Feedback Policy, please see:




Recommended reading

  • Goodman, M. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • Katz, S. D., The Cambridge History of the Jews, vol. 4: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period (Cambridge: CUP, 2006)
  • Baskin, J. R. and K. Seeskin (eds.), The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)
  • Baumel, Simon D., Sacred Speakers: Language and Culture among the Haredim in Israel (New York: Berghahn Books, 2005)
  • Kalmar, Ivan D. and Derek J. Penslar (eds), Orientalism and the Jews (Waltham, Mass: Brandeis University Press, 2005)
  • Behar, Moshe and Zvi Ben-Dor Benite (eds), Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Politics, and Culture 1893–1958 (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2013)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 4
Practical classes & workshops 2
Seminars 14
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Daniel Langton Unit coordinator

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