MA Medieval and Early Modern Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
Jews among Christians and Muslims

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
Offered by Religions & Theology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

"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 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, the ancient Greek and Christian context of classical Judaism, 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.

Aims

AIMS
1. To develop an awareness of the profound level of interaction between Jewish thought and culture with non-Jewish thought and culture in history.
2. To develop skills in 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.

Syllabus

Week 1: What Is Jewish Studies and Who Needs It? An Introduction

Week 2: The Changing Academic Landscape in ancient Jewish Studies

Week 3: Cultural contact and conflict between Jews and non-Jews through the ages; the question of Jewish languages

Week 4: Intra-Jewish Ideological Battlefields: The Example of Jewish Views of Paul

Week 5: Interfaith interference? Diplomatic examples of Jewish-Christian Relations

Week 6: Small group discussion session on draft essay plans (1000 words)

Week 7: Jews, Modernity Haskala and Nahda

Week 8: Pre-1950 Iraqi and Egyptian Jews between Jewish and Arab Nationalisms

 

It is compulsory for students also to attend a minimum of 2 lecture series or research seminar sessions offered by the Centre for Jewish Studies (e.g. Bogdanow Lecture series, Shermans Conversations, Jewish Studies seminars; see www.manchesterjewishstudies.org), or Jewish Studies related seminars in the Religions and Theology Research Seminar series or the Ehrhardt Biblical Studies Seminar series. Please inform the Course Unit Director which of these you are planning to attend (and confirm after attending).

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture and seminar mix in combination, supported by Blackboard materials.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of a substantial and varied sub-set of historical events, phenomena and issues in Judaism in its ancient Graeco-Roman, Christian and Muslim contexts
  • Gain knowledge of the history and range of the academic discipline of Jewish Studies

Gain understanding of various methodologies employed in the field.

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

Oral communication
Research
Written communication
Other
¿ Critical evaluation ¿ Reliability and punctuality ¿ Use of web-based information sources, as well as of printed materials ¿ Critical evaluation ¿ Reliability and punctuality; ¿ Use of web-based information sources, as well as of printed materials

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

FEEDBACK METHODS

 

 

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Verbal or written feedback on draft Essay plan

Formative

Written feedback on essay

Summative

For the SALC Postgraduate Feedback Policy, please see:http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/staffintranet/postgraduatetaught/postgraduate-policies/

 

 

 

Recommended reading

-Martin Goodman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

-Daniel Langton, The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

-Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (Princeton: UP, 1984)

-Katz, S. D., The Cambridge History of the Jews, vol. 4: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period (Cambridge: CUP, 2006)

-Ivan D. Kalmar and Derek J. Penslar (eds), Orientalism and the Jews (Waltham, Mass: Brandeis University Press, 2005)

-Moshe Behar 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
Alexander Samely Unit coordinator
Daniel Langton Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Information
"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 great 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 Western modernity. As a team taught course, it draws on expertise in modern Jewish-Christian relations, medieval Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, European history and Holocaust Studies.

 

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