Beyond Comparison: the History of Early Judaism and Christianity

Project Description


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JSIS C 495 / JSIS C 502
Professor: Mika Ahuvia
MW 2:30-4:20pm
Credits: 5 I&S

In this advanced Jewish Studies seminar, we take an in-depth view of the classical period of Jewish history (fourth century BCE to sixth century CE) and the way scholars have reshaped it in recent decades. We examine the groundbreaking contributions that have shaped and changed the field of early Judaism and how the field has grown in conversation with the fields of biblical studies and early Christian studies (e.g. “the ways that never parted” in Jewish and Christian history). We also explore new frontiers of research that complicate religious boundaries such as magic, mysticism, and sacred song. Studying the approaches that have reshaped the field of ancient Judaism sheds light on the most important theories in the study of religion and ancient history in general: from anthropology to literary theory, feminism, etc. We will discuss not only the challenges of (and opportunities for) research, but also the challenges of teaching history and religion today. Open to senior undergraduates and graduate students.

Past quarters taught: Winter 2016