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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Fall 2009


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
40020 T
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
GAR 0.132

Course Description

A seminar course examining the complex ways in which Jewish martyrdom and narratives of Jewish martyrdom have expressed Jewish religious commitments, cultural conventions, concerns, anxieties, and social assumptions over the course of two millenia. Jews in a Greco-Roman environment: patriotism and "athleticism." In the medieval Christian sphere: submission and sacrifice. The impact of modern Jewish nationalism and the Holocaust on conceptions of martyrdom.

Grading Policy

20% - class participation. 40% - two 3-5 page written exercises, to be assigned. 60% - final paper, 20-25 pp.


Tessa Rajak, "Dying for the Law: The Martyr's Portrait in Jewish-Greek Literature," in M.J. Edwards and Simon Swain, eds., Portraits: Biographical Representation in the Greek and Latin Literature of the Roman Empire, 39-67. Talmud Bavli Berakhot, 61b; Talmud Bavli Abodah Zara, 17b-18a. Jeremy Cohen, Sanctifying the Name of God: Jewish Martyrs and Jewish Memories of the First Crusade. Miriam Bodian, Dying in the Law of Moses: Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in Iberian Lands. Emil Fackenheim, “On the Life, Death, and Transfiguration of Martyrdom: The Jewish Testimony to the Divine Image in Our Time,” The Jewish Return into History, 234-51.


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