Judaic Studies Department
Brown RISD Hillel encourages academic interaction and engagement with Jewish texts, history, culture, identity, among many other areas. We are proud to bring information to you about upcoming Judaic Studies courses. If you have any questions about the courses, please contact the relevant faculty directly or consult the Judaic Studies website.
Judaic Studies Courses, Fall 2013
JUDS 0050A S01 Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists in Contemporary Fiction
Primary Instructor: Jacobson
Contemporary society is divided over issues of religious faith. In recent decades there has been a resurgence of religious faith, while at the same time many have been skeptical and even hostile to religious belief and practice. Others are just not sure what to believe. In this seminar, we will read and discuss contemporary short stories that explore the ways that these ongoing differences over spiritual matters affect people. These works portray a variety of human situations: the affirmation and rejection of religious faith, confusion over the existence and nature of God, and positive and negative views of religious institutions and the clergy who lead them. Writers of both Christian and Jewish background will be studied. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS
JUDS 0050L S01 The Jew in the Modern World
Primary Instructor: Teller
How have Jews come to terms with dynamic nature of the Modern World? How has life in new places and new times affected Jewish life? We will look at the changing structures of Jewish identity in the modern period as the Jews came to terms with their new, and ever changing situation in society. Each week a different form of Jewish identity will be examined in its specific historical setting. Among others we will look at a Court Jew, an Enlightened Jew, a Jewish Nationalist, a Jew in a Nazi Ghetto, an Israeli Jew, and a contemporary American Jew. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. DVPS FYS LILE WRIT
JUDS 0090A S01 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
An intensive introduction to the fundamentals of biblical Hebrew grammar and vocabulary intended to prepare students to read biblical texts in the original language. For students with little or no prior knowledge of Hebrew.
JUDS 0100 S01 Elementary Hebrew
An introduction to the skills of reading, writing, and conversing in contemporary Israeli Hebrew. Students also read Hebrew texts adapted for their level of Hebrew based on biblical, rabbinic, and modern Hebrew literature, which introduce them to the approaches of Hebrew writers in various periods and to a variety of cultural issues. If registration is closed, please contact the professor and a wait list will be created. This is the first half of a year-long course whose first semester grade is normally a temporary one. Neither semester may be elected independently without special permission. Enrollment limited to 20.
JUDS 0300 S01 Intermediate Hebrew
Develops the skills of reading, writing, and conversing in contemporary Israeli Hebrew at the intermediate level and of reading Hebrew texts of the biblical, rabbinic, and modern periods (biblical stories, rabbinic legends, modern Hebrew poems, stories, essays, newspaper articles). Discussions and compositions focus on the psychological, cultural, political, and social issues reflected in the Hebrew sources that we study. Prerequisite: JUDS 0200 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. If unable to enroll because of closed registration, please contact the professor and a wait list will be created.
JUDS 0500 S01 Writing and Speaking Hebrew
Enables students to improve their skills in speaking and writing Hebrew on a variety of topics. Features advanced work on language structure and active language practice in the classroom. Class discussions of Israeli current events draw on Israeli stories, poems, television programs, and films and on the Israeli press. Students also compose essays and stories in Hebrew. Prerequisite: JUDS 0400 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20.
JUDS 0670 S01 War in Ancient Israel and its Environment
Primary Instructor: Olyan
An examination of the ways in which war is represented in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and in the texts and art of ancient Israel's neighbors. Topics include the role of divine beings in war; explaining defeat and victory; ideologies of holy war; the treatment of prisoners and corpses; the warrior as masculine ideal and the king as ideal warrior; civil war and coups; allies and their obligations; ritual dimensions of war; visual representations; the idea of a future, eschatological war between the forces of good and the forces of evil. No prerequisites. WRIT
JUDS 0680 S01 Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible (RELS 0325)
Interested students must register for RELS 0325 (CRN 15232).
JUDS 0820 S01 God and Poetry
Primary Instructor: Jacobson
Throughout recorded history, poetry has expressed a variety of religious experiences. In this seminar we read selections from the Hebrew poetic tradition (in English translation), including the biblical psalms, medieval sacred poetry, and modern poetry, and explore how the language of poetry can serve as a means to convey the nature of relations between humanity and God. Enrollment limited to 20.
JUDS 1620 S01 Jerusalem Since 1850: Religion, Politics, Cultural Heritage
Primary Instructor: Galor
This seminar surveys the history of archaeological exploration, discovery, and interpretation in the contexts of social, political, and religious debates from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on the post-1967 period. It examines the legal settings and ethical precepts of archaeological activity and the developing discourse of cultural heritage. It analyzes the ongoing struggle to discover and define the city's past, to expose its physical legacy, and to advance claims of scientific validity and objectivity against the challenges of religious zeal and political partisanship, the latter both intimately related though not necessarily limited to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
JUDS 1625 S01 Problems in Israelite Religion and Ancient Judaism
Primary Instructor: Olyan
A series of topics in Israelite religion and ancient Judaism which are of current scholarly interest are explored in a seminar setting. Students are encouraged to read widely and pursue individual research interests. The course assumes a basic knowledge of biblical literature and scholarly criticism. Enrollment limited to 20.
JUDS 1640 S01 Judaism: History and Religion
Primary Instructor: Satlow
Surveys the major practices, traditions, and beliefs of the Jews, with an emphasis on modern Jewish communities. How does a Jewish community shape its practices and beliefs against its own specific historical circumstances to create a coherent and meaningful religious system? What is "Judaism," and how do scholars of religion explain and interpret it? DVPS WRIT
JUDS 1712 S01 History of Zionism and the Birth of the State of Israel
Primary Instructor: Mandel
Examines the history of the Zionist movement within the context of the history of European nationalism and as one of numerous Jewish political responses to rising antisemitism. Explores the ideological and political foundations of the Zionist movement until Israel's establishment as well as broader concerns of Jewish politics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
JUDS 1970 S01 Individual Study Projects
Primary Instructor: Brink-Danan
Section numbers vary by instructor. Please see Banner for the correct course reference number (CRN) to use when registering for this course.