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Course Catalog

Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies at DePauw is a place where faculty and students from a variety of disciplines come together in shared inquiry. History, religion, philosophy, literature, art history, anthropology, political science¿-all of these approaches provide a lens through which we can view the diversity and complexity of Jewish experience from ancient times to the present. There are two strands that are central to Jewish Studies: one is the study of Jewish intellectual life in both its religious and secular aspects: the other is the study of Jewish identity, again both religious and secular. And central to both these strands is the understanding that there is no singular or essential Judaism, Jewish thought, Jewish place, or Jewish identity. Jewish Studies, like all the liberal arts, poses questions and is never satisfied with an answer. Students interested in exploring Jewish Studies can begin by taking one of the variety of courses that will be offered in the coming year. They are also encouraged to seek out one of the affiliated Jewish Studies faculty for advice and conversation.


Courses in Religious Studies

REL 132

Judaism, Christianity, Islam

A basic cross-cultural survey course of the major religious traditions of the West: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Particular attention is paid to the thought, scriptures, practices and institutions of these traditions.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

REL 141

Hebrew Bible

This course surveys the diverse literature of Ancient Israel, read in English translation, that came to be recognized as sacred scripture by Judaism and Christianity (known alternatively as Tanakh or Old Testament). The texts are studied within the historical and cultural context of Ancient Israel with an interest in the history and methods of interpretation.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

REL 244

Judaism

An introduction to Jewish life, thought and practice. Description of basic Jewish beliefs, attitudes, values and practices.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

REL 245

Jewish Writers

This class treats a range of modern and contemporary Jewish writers (European, American, and Israeli). Through writers such as Freud, Kafka, David Grossman, Dara Horn, Philip Roth, and Larry David, we will explore elements of Jewish identity, culture, history, theology and humor. Is there such a thing as a distinctly Jewish imagination? A distinctly Jewish aesthetic?

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

REL 342

Jewish and Christian Origins

This course focuses on the history, literature, and religious communities in the period that defines the background and the emergence of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism (400BCE-400CE). We deal with a vast array of ancient primary sources ranging from late biblical literature, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament and early Christian texts, and the literature of Rabbinic Judaism. These texts allow us to discuss the formations and developments of communities such as the Jerusalem Priesthood, the Dead Sea Scrolls Community, the Pharisees, and the various communities of Early Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and Jewish-Christianity.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course