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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Introduction to Jewish History: From the Bible to Spanish Expulsion (3 cr)
Brian Hillman
JSTU-J 251 (5340) / HIST-H 251 (34446)
TR 11:30-12:45
GenEd S&H; GenEd WC; CASE S&H; CASE GCC; credit given for only one of J251 or HIST-H 251; Required course for JS major and certificate students

This course examines the emergence of Judaism in ancient and medieval worlds. It explores both the preservation of Jewish traditions and their transformations over time and space. The course focuses on the time periods that produced some of the most influential scriptural, legal, literary, philosophical, and mystical texts of the Jewish tradition such as the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the compendium of law and narrative called the Talmud. Some questions students will consider in the course include: What is the difference between Israelites and Jews? Where did ancient Jews live, and how did they relate to practices from their surrounding cultures? How did gender relations shape the daily lives of ancient and medieval Jews? What representations of religious and political power appear in the textual and material records of ancient and medieval Judaism? How did ancient Jews think about their relationship to the land of Israel? What did they think about Jewish political autonomy? How did they interact with rulers and empires?