Fall 2013 Community Education Courses

View Community Education Courses by discipline:

Bible

History
Interdisciplinary
Jewish Thought





BIBLE
         

COURSE TITLE

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

COURSE NO.

Selected Readings in Rashi on the Torah
Syllabus

Frankel

Online

Non-credit Only

CG BIBLE 565 AU

This course introduces the student to the classical commentary of Rashi on the Torah. Central and typical sections of the commentary will be read and analyzed. Rashi’s unique approach to biblical exegesis will be studied both in light of the historical context in which it was written, and against the background of the rabbinic biblical exegesis expressed in the Talmud and Midrashim. Among the topics to be studied are: the conflict between Peshat and Derash; anti-Christian polemics; Rashi: textual exegete or religious moralist?; and central theological themes in Rashi’s worldview. A major component of the course will focus on the development of the reading skills necessary for understanding Rashi’s through. Chavruta study will play a vital role in achieving the goals of this course. Prerequisite: Hebrew IV

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HISTORY
         

COURSE TITLE

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

COURSE NO.

Text and Context: Biblical and Rabbinic Periods
Syllabus 

Mesch

Online

Non-credit Only

CG HIST 541 AU

In this course, we will encounter the Tanakh and rabbinic literature and the cultures and civilizations in which they developed. We will read substantial portions of original texts (in translation) along with key secondary sources to provide students with a framework through which they can gain understanding of the key issues and concepts that underlie these texts and their history. We will also be attentive to the variety of ways that the Bible and rabbinic literature are read and interpreted. There are no prerequisites for this class; it will be taught as an introductory course for graduate students and as an introduction to graduate work in Jewish Studies.

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INTERDISCIPLINARY
         

COURSE TITLE

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

COURSE NO.

Spirituality and Social Justice: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel
Syllabus 

Rose

Online

Non-credit Only

CG INTD 560 AU

In this semester-length course, the lives and writings of two of the most celebrated religious figures in twentieth-century American culture — Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel — are critically examined, exploring areas of commonality and difference. How did these men read the sacred texts of their traditions? Who were their teachers and spiritual guides? How did they enter public life? What was their understanding of the relationship between religion and American democracy? How did they view the inter-religious dimensions of their work? In addition to our studies of the biographies and writings of these two men, we will also spend significant time exploring the social and political contexts in they which they met and worked together. This will include a sustained exploration of the movement for African American civil rights and various forms of Jewish engagement with this issue.

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JEWISH THOUGHT
         

COURSE TITLE

INSTRUCTOR

TIME

CREDITS

COURSE NO.

Three 20th Century Hasidic Leaders: The Courts of Lubavitch, Piaseczna and Satmar

Syllabus

Polen

M, 7-9 pm

Non-credit Only

CG JTHT 606 AU

This course will examine the careers and representative writings of three of the most influential Hasidic masters of the 20th century, the Lubavitcher, the Piaseczner and the Satmar Rebbes. We will compare and contrast their respective approaches to the challenge of modernity within the rich world of Hasidism. Each of these leaders grappled with the transition from an inward facing mysticism to a theology that confronted the deep changes in the wider world and their impact on the Jewish community.

The Rational Ideal and Its Opponents: Four Medieval Jewish Philosophers
Syllabus

Mesch

M, 2:30-4 pm

Non-credit Only

CG JTHT 519 AU

In this course we are going to focus on the writings of four of the most influential writers and leaders of the Jewish Middle Ages. They are Saadya Gaon, Yehuda Halevi and Moses Maimonides (Rambam) and Nachmanides (Ramban). Saadya and Rambam were rationalists who believed in the ultimate importance of reason and its relevance to religion and to Judaism. Halevi, the poet and thinker, taught that while reason is important and useful, it is not essential for achieving the ultimate goal and purpose of religion. Finally, we will look at Ramban who was a great Jewish thinker, mystic, rationalist, leader, poet and defender of Judaism. He intervened in the debate over the writings of Maimonides as a peace maker. We will be looking at these figures both as religious thinkers and leaders. How did they function as leaders and how did their overall understanding of Judaism affect their approach to community and leadership. 

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