Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Courses Offered
Judaic Studies

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.



101, 102. Elementary Modern Hebrew I and II. (NW)   

101. Every Fall; 102. Every Spring

Introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew, oral and written. Di Giulio

201, 202. Intermediate Modern Hebrew I and II. (LS) (NW) (H for 202)

201. Every Fall; 202. Every Spring                                                                                  Frese



112. Judaism. (H) (NW)

This course will focus on a number of classical texts ranging from the biblical period to the present early modern times. With the exception of a few selections, all have had their impact on Jewish culture in the Hebrew language. The chief aim of the course is to immerse students in the questions the texts raise, thus exposing them to continuity and change in Jewish self-understanding over time. The desired outcome is that the students become aware of certain key concepts (e.g. covenant, chosen-ness, prophecy, exile, redemption, Jewish law) and the continuing debates around them. Same as RST 112.                                                    Stone

212. Hebrew Bible. (H) (NW)

Study of the writings of the Hebrew Bible. Seeks to understand the historical development of Israel in the biblical period and the religious forms of thought and practice that arose during this time. Same as RST 212.           Frese

233. Religion in 20th-Century Jewish Literature. (H)

Readings of well-known 20th-century Jewish short story writers, novelists and poets. In an era in which many people, including many of the authors, thought they were moving away from religion, religious questions and imagery remain nonetheless prevalent. What are these questions? How does the fiction reflect and respond to the upheavals of the time? Same as RST 233.    Aronowicz

252. Modern Jewish Thought. (H)

Studies Jewish thinkers from the Enlightenment to the present, through their philosophical writings, political essays, religious reflections and fiction. The chief question was how to make the Jewish tradition adapt or respond to the modern Western State and to modern Western culture. This is a course about the Jews and the West. To what degree is there harmony? To what degree is there conflict? Same as RST 252.                                                                                                                              Aronowicz

253. Premodern Jewish History: Jews of East

and West Through the Middle Ages. (NW) (S)

Introduction to Jewish history, beginning with first centuries of the Common Era and continuing to end of 17th century. Examines central themes and patterns in Jewish history with focus on the development of major Jewish communities in Christian Europe and the Arab/Muslim world. Course looks at relationships between Jewish and non-Jewish cultures and communities during this time. Same as HIS/RST 253.                                                                                                                                        Hoffman

254. Jews in the Modern World. (S)

Introduction to the modern era from late 18th century Emancipation and Enlightenment through the mid-20th century, tracing the transformations of Jewish life. Broad historical sketches are combined with close readings of particular texts, movements, and thinkers to flesh out the contours and dynamics of the Jewish experience in the Modern world. Major events of Jewish history of 20th century (the Holocaust, foundation of the State of Israel, and mass migration of European Jews to the Americas) are examined through secondary and primary sources. Same as HIS/RST 254.                                                                    Hoffman

325. Jewish Culture in Eastern Europe. (S)

Course focuses on the Jews of Eastern Europe from the end of the Middle Ages through the present; looks at variety of cultural forms and expressions they have created. From tradition to modernity, Shtetl to Socialism, religious scholarship to secular literature, examines the rich cultural life of East European Jews in all its myriad manifestations. Specific emphasis on transformations in the culture of Yiddish-speaking Jews in Poland and Russia. Same as HIS/RST 325.                                Hoffman

326. Jewish Views of Jesus. (S)

Course explores the ways in which Jews have related to and represented the figure of Jesus, using Jewish texts from the birth of Christianity to the present day. Beginning with the Talmud, examines numerous Jewish sources (including literature and art) and looks at a number of historical periods and the different religious, social, and intellectual developments that influenced Jewish perceptions and portrayals of Jesus. Same as HIS/RST 326.                                                                                      Hoffman

327. Cinema and the American Jewish Experience. (S)

Course explores representations of American Jewish life in cinema and popular culture. Using a historical perspective, it analyzes the different ways in which Jewish identity and culture have been represented in American film. Looks at history of Jews in the US, Jewish involvement in the film industry, and anti-Semitism. Films viewed weekly, including feature films and several documentaries, in class and in an extra viewing session. Same as AMS/HIS/RST 327.                                        Hoffman

340. Jews in the Greco-Roman World. (H)

Focuses on Jews and Judaism during the period of profound changes after the conquest of Alexander the Great that were key to development of modern Judaism and Christianity. Surveys variety of Jewish writing from the period: historical; philosophical; apocalyptic; and exegetical. These texts, including Dead Sea scrolls, will be read in combination with modern scholarly works treating Jewish life and history of the period. Same as RST 340.                                                                                             Cooper

359. Modern Religious Thinkers: Pascal, Kierkegaard and Rosenzweig. (H)

Focuses on three thinkers who rethought the meaning of their respective religious traditions—Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism—in ways that were to influence not only their respective community but also how we think about religion in general. All three challenged what we mean by religion. Same as RST 359.                                                                  Aronowicz

405. Selected Studies in Jewish History. (S)

Readings and research on various topics, periods, and problems of Jewish history. Seminar topics include “Approaches to Jewish History” and “Jewish Political Movements.” Same as HIS 405.                                                                                       Hoffman

445. Hannah Arendt: Terror, Identity, Politics. (S)

Seminar exploring the life and work of Hannah Arendt, who remains one of the most controversial and important political thinkers of the 20th century. Examines how her personal experience as a Jewish émigré extended to an exploration of identity, to a critique of contemporary culture and politics and to a revived sense of politics that emphasizes human distinctiveness rather than anonymous group processes. Same as GOV 445.                                                                                                        Hammer

490. Independent Study.

The student pursues an in-depth investigation of a topic of special interest, under the direction of an adviser. Please see the Chair with any questions.

Topics courses EXPECTED to be offered in 2014 – 2015

Modern Hebrew Literature.