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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Religious Studies (RL ST)

RL ST 090 (GH;IL) (CAMS 090, J ST 090) Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future (3) Social, cultural, religious, political, and archaeological history of Jerusalem from earliest times (c. 3000 BCE) to the present.

RL ST (J ST/CAMS) 090 Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Jerusalem, a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is symbolically depicted in art and literature as the physical and spiritual center of the world. Throughout its history, this "city of peace" was a focal point attracting numerous cultures and peoples, the latter sometimes as prophets and more often as conquerors. The reasons for Jerusalem's centrality and significance during the past five millennia as a heavenly and earthly capital are explored in this course.

The course curriculum will survey the religious, political, archaeological and historical record of ancient Jerusalem, beginning with its earliest settlement during the fourth and third millennia BC. Jerusalem's urbanization in the second millennium BC, its role as the capital of biblical Israel and Judah during the First and Second Temple periods, and its transformation as a center of Christianity and later Islam are studied utilizing the testimony of artifacts, architecture, and iconography in relation to the written word. Throughout the ages and continuing into the 21st century, Jerusalem remains a contested city for the three monotheistic faiths. The holy city's impact on the politics of the modern Middle East will be critically examined in light of Jerusalem's history and recent archaeological discoveries and their modern-day interpretation.

Objectives include the critical evaluation of archaeological, historical and literary evidence and its relationship to modern-day political and religious perceptions of Jerusalem. The course will encourage research skills (including library training sessions) and writing and oral communication skills based on an analytical approach to the texts and material culture relevant to Jerusalem.

This course will fulfill three credits of the General Education or the B.A. humanities requirement and the GI requirement. For majors in CAMS, the course will fulfill the requirement of three credits in Near Eastern literature and language, civilization, or archaeology; and for those in the CAMS ancient Mediterranean archaeology option it will fulfill the three credits of archaeology course work requirement. The course will fulfill three credits of course work concerned with the ancient period or with the land of Israel.


General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Fall 2015

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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