Introduction to Jewish Civilization: History and Identity
"Every disagreement that is for the sake of Heaven is destined to endure, and one that is not for the sake of Heaven is destined not to endure" (Pirkei Avot, 5:17). Jewish thought, ritual, and learning are often developed as products of disagreements and controversies, known as 'culture of controversy'. This introductory course will apply a 'culture of controversy' to our learning and will serve to advance our critical thinking, discussing, and peer learning skills. Together, we will engage, argue, and debate controversies of Jewish civilization throughout history. We will survey select issues from biblical to contemporary times, with a focus on the two largest contemporary Jewish centers: the United States and the state of Israel. As we engage with each issue, we will discuss its controversial nature, identify, synthesize, and analyze diverse perspectives that should be considered, and apply ideas discussed to our own contemporary thought and practices.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Eth; BU IS; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM
Introduction to Jewish Civilization: Texts, People, and Politics