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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 111 (GH;IL) (CAMS 111, J ST 111) Early Judaism (3) Religious thought, practices, and parties in the Second Temple period; the emergence of rabbinic Judaism.

RL ST (CAMS/J ST) 111 Early Judaism (3)

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

Early Judaism will introduce students to the history of Judaism as reflected in Jewish literature from the period of the Babylonian exile (587/6 BCE) to the closure of the Babylonian Talmud (ca. 600 CE). In this period, ancient Hebrew religion was transformed into a new world religion-Judaism. Students will read selections from the Bible, and from other religious literature, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Apocrypha, the Christian Scriptures, the Mishnah, and the Talmudim. By tracing the development of various Jewish "parties," students will appreciate how Classical Judaism evolved, and how the early Church emerged from Jewish roots in the first centuries CE. Early Judaism grew from its roots in the period of Achaemenid domination. Jews were dispersed throughout the eastern Mediterranean, so influences from Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman thought naturally influenced the faith's development. Students in Early Judaism will develop a new appreciation for the basic beliefs and practices of Judaism as well as for the beginnings of the Jesus movement and the development of the early Christian Church. Theological and historical questions concerning the origins of evil, the primacy of prayer, the beginnings of Jewish religious architecture, and the rise of anti-Semitism will be explored. Religion is always linked inextricably to culture. Judaism's transformation in contact with diverse cultures will become evident throughout RL ST/CAMS/J ST 111. The methodologies used in this course will enable students to read and evaluate primary and secondary sources used in the academic study of Judaism. Many other courses in Religious Studies (001, 004, 110, 120, 124), Jewish Studies (010 and 102), and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, as well as History and Art History are closely related or linked to this course. RL ST/CAMS/J ST 111 may be used to fulfill 3 credits in the Humanities, or to fulfill the GI requirement in the major or minor. The course will be offered once each year, with an enrollment of 65. This course will satisfy 3 credits towards the minor in Jewish Studies or the major in Religious Studies, plus being cross-listed with CAMS, fulfilling part of the requirement for courses in supporting or related areas of all Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies majors. The course also provides an excellent addition to other courses, such as CAMS 010, "Mesopotamian Civilization;" CAMS 044, "Ancient Near Eastern Mythology;" CAMS 045 "Classical Mythology;" CAMS 033, "Roman Civilization; and CAMS/RL ST/ JST 012, "Lands of the Bible."

General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Summer 2005

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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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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