Understanding Contemporary Judaism (Theology School)

WR 698: SPECIAL TOPICS IN WORLD RELIGIONSINTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM

 

 

Candler School of Theology Fall, 2003

M 6:30 – 9:30 BH 212

Instructor:

Professor David R. Blumenthal (7-7545; 404-634-3833; <reldrb@emory.edu>)

Content:

The purpose of this course is to provide students for the Christian ministry and education with a historical, theological, and practical introduction to Judaism and the Jewish community. Accordingly, the course is divided into four parts: the secular forms of Jewish identity, the religious forms of Jewish identity, the holocaust as the formative trauma of contemporary Jewish life, and A. J. Heschel as a representative Jewish theologian.

Texts:

Bible (any translation).
H. Wouk, This Is My God
E. Wiesel, Night
L. Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews
A. J. Heschel, God in Search of Man
A Theological Understanding of the Relationship between Christians and Jews, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – will be distributed

Recommended texts; also placed on reserve:

S. Dubnow, Nationalism and History
A. Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea
E. Evans, The Provincials
A. J. Heschel, Who Is Man?

Management:

No prerequisites.
The teaching method is discussion; students will have to prepare all readings.
There will also be a field trip.

Final exam: Take home, choice of questions, short essay.

 

SYLLABUS
Introduction

Secular Jewish Identity

Diaspora Nationalism — Sept. 8
Dubnow, 76-99
Zionism — Sept. 15
Hertzberg, 182-8, 204-26, 316-27, 409-15
The Atlanta Jewish Federation (guest lecture) — Sept. 22
Woocher articles on reserve

Religious Jewish Identity

Traditional and Liberal Forms of Judaism — Sept. 29
Wouk

(Oct. 6 — Yom Kippur — no class)

Field Trip to a Synagogue — Oct. 13
Evans

The Holocaust as Formative of Contemporary Jewish Identity

The Horror — Oct. 20
film: “Night and Fog”
Dawidowicz
Popular Jewish Responses &endash; Oct. 27
Wiesel
“In the Shadow of the Holocaust,” “Afterthoughts”

Christian Responsibility (guest lecturer) — Nov. 3
to be assigned

Christian-Jewish Relations

The Presbyterian Documents (A Theological Understanding…)
“Weapons of the Spirit” (film) — Nov. 10

Jewish Theology

Religious Experience and Language — Nov. 17
Heschel, Part One
Revelation and the Biblical Text — Nov. 24
Heschel, Part Two
Deed and Religious Praxis &endash; Dec. 1
Heschel, Part Three

Final Exam Due —

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