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2002/03 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

JEST1003
Jewish Histories I: From the Destruction of the Temple to the Expulsion from Spain
20 credits

Taught Semester 1,

Year running 2002/03

Pre-requisites None

Co-requisites None

This module is available as an elective

Objectives
On completion of this module, students should have an understanding of the transformations, continuities and ruptures of Jewish history in diaspora up to the end of the 15th century. They should be familiar with the transformations of Jewries from ancient Palestine to late medieval Christian Europe; the multiple varieties of Judaism; a comparative understanding of structures and contexts of Jewish settlements and of some of the dynamics within Europe which determined Christian attitudes to Jewish minorities. They should be able to read and analyse selected primary sources (in translation) from the ancient and medieval periods and be familiar with the basic social, economic, political and cultural structures of Jewish communities between the first and the fifteenth centuries.

Syllabus
This module will introduce students to the historical trajectory of Jewish diaspora communities between the first and fifteenth centuries. Students will become familiar with the diverse forms of Judaism current in the first centuries after the end of the Jewish monarchy, in their complex relationships with neighbouring Pagans, Christians and Muslims. They will look at the political and economic conditions of various Jewish settlements in Europe and Asia and probe into seminal Jewish intellectual currents. Questions for discussion will include: Can there be a unified history for a people living for over two millennia in diaspora? And what kind of history is it? A national history? A religious history? An ethnic or cultural one? What are the main unresolved issues over which researchers still struggle? What is the relationship between the Jews and their neighbours in different periods? Is there such a thing as a history of Anti-Semitism?

Form of teaching
Seminars: 11 x 2 hours

Form of assessment
1 x 2-hour examination

Undergraduate Module Catalogue | Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

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