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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Fall 2003

MES 302 • Intro to Jewish Culture & History I

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39205 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
bur 134

Course Description

The course is designed as an introduction to Jewish life from the formation of Judaism in the Biblical period to the Holocaust, the rise of the State of Israel, and Jewish existence in the modern world. This team-taught course will survey a broad range of the Jewish experience via the prisms o f archaeology, anthropology, literature, art, religion, and daily life. Students are expected to acquire a general knowledge of the subjects through lectures, reading, discussions, and video programs. TOPICS: 1. The Biblical period: the emergency of the Israelite people. 2. The Israelite Monarchy. 3. Judaism in the Persian Period. 4. The Maccabean Rebellion. 5. The Dead Sea Scrolls. 6. The formation of Rabbinic Judaism. 7. The ancient synagogue in art and architecture. 8. The Mishna and the Talmud. 9. The Middle Ages. 10. Jewish life in the Renaissance. 11. The Emancipation. 12. Herzl and the Zionist vision: Jewish nationalism. 13. The Holocaust. 14. The rise of Modern Israel. 15. The revival of the Hebrew language. 16. Jewish languages. 17 Jews of the Middle East and North Africa. 18. Society and politics in Israel. 19. Jews in America. 20. American Jewish literature. 21. Jews in the arts.


Grading Policy

Midterm exam 35% Final exam 45% Participation 20%


Eban, Abba, My People, The Story of the Jews, NY 1984


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