Course Descriptions - Undergraduate Calendar 2015-2016

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J E W I S H  S T U D I E S

Notes

Students should consult with the Jewish Studies Office for the latest information on course offerings. Some courses are offered in rotation.

JS 100s


JS 105A LEC 0.50Course ID: 008290
Classical Hebrew 1
Biblical Hebrew for beginners. A study of the alphabet, and some of the basic vocabulary and grammar of the language.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors but not both. Taught at Laurier as NE 111.]
(Cross-listed with RS 131)

JS 105B LEC 0.50Course ID: 008291
Classical Hebrew 2
A continuation of RS 131/JS 105A. Most of the rules of grammar will be covered in this course and students will begin to read texts in the original language.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors but not both. Taught at Laurier as NE 112.]
Prereq: JS/RS 105A/RS 131
(Cross-listed with RS 132)

JS 114 LEC 0.50Course ID: 014871
Jews and Jewishness
This course examines the central elements that make up contemporary Jewish identity/identities, traditional and otherwise, with particular focus on the North American Jewish experience and the nature of Jewish modernity. It explores historical, literary, religious, and social issues that have contributed to the formation of these identities.
(Cross-listed with RS 114)
Only offered Online

JS 120 LEC 0.50Course ID: 010108
Relationships in the Bible (Old Testament)
Students will be introduced to the Hebrew Bible by way of selected readings which deal with a particular aspect of the human predicament. The focus will be on exploring relationships via narrative passages in the Old Testament and particularly in the Book of Genesis. The following relationships will be discussed: (a) Spousal (b) Human/God (c) Parent/child (d) Siblings (e) Gender issues in narratives of rape, incest, seduction and dominance.
[Note: Knowledge of Hebrew is not required. This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors but not both.]
(Cross-listed with RS 111)

JS 125 LEC 0.50Course ID: 010110
Great Texts in the Jewish Tradition
This course will trace the development of biblical exegesis in the Jewish tradition. Interpretive methods and approaches to problems in the text such as redundancy, contradiction, and gaps will be surveyed, commencing with the Bible itself, through the classical period of the Talmud and concentrating on major medieval commentators. (The biblical episode of the 'Binding of Isaac' will be used as a paradigm to illustrate various approaches to the text.)
[Note: Knowledge of Hebrew is not required. This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 212)

JS 130 LEC 0.50Course ID: 010109
Power and Corruption in the Bible (Old Testament)
This course will deal with the period of the Prophets, e.g., Joshua, Kings, and Samuel. It will examine the uses and abuses of power analyzing the historical narratives and study the conflict between Saul and David, the political as well as the moral rise and fall of David.
[Note: Knowledge of Hebrew is not required. This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors but not both.]
(Cross-listed with RS 112)

JS 131 LEC 0.50Course ID: 012721
Big Ideas of the Bible
The Bible is the most translated and most read document in human history. This course explores central biblical ideas, from creation to the end of time, violence to redemption, and political intrigue to family ties, and examines their impact on Judaism, Christianity, and Western Culture.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 130)

JS 150 LEC 0.50Course ID: 010119
The Quest for Meaning in Modern Judaism
How does an ancient religious tradition remain relevant in the face of shifting cultural morals and beliefs and especially in light of the West's emphasis on relativism and freedom of choice? This course will explore the major themes and challenges that face Judaism and the Jewish people at the start of the 21st century. We will compare the insights of an extremely diverse group of Jewish thinkers on the place of tradition in the modern world, and examine the perpetual quest for meaning at the core of Judaism.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 113)

JS 200s


JS 203 LEC 0.50Course ID: 011635
Jewish Responses to the Holocaust
The catastrophe and devastation of the Holocaust and the radical nature of its evil demanded responses within contemporary Jewish thought, identity, and experience. This course will explore philosophical, theological (Jewish law, rabbinic), literary (novels, poetry, memoirs, plays), and artistic (museums, memorials) attempts to deal with the issues the Holocaust raises.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 211)

JS 205 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008297
The Hebrew Prophets
A study of the biblical prophets with special attention to their religious experience, social critique, visions of the future, and the writings that bear their names.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors, but not both.]
(Cross-listed with RS 232)

JS 210 LEC 0.50Course ID: 010111
Jewish Philosophy
The course will explore the thought of various Jewish scholars throughout history on issues that were vital to their faith. The texts studied will be representative of the philosophical and rabbinic traditions on such matters as the nature of God, the problem of evil, creation, miracles, prophecy, and providence.
[Note: Knowledge of Hebrew is not required. This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 214)

JS 211 LEC 0.50Course ID: 012171
Kabbalah: Jewish Mysticism
This course will survey the roots, history, and symbolism of the Jewish mystical tradition known as Kabbalah. Students will be introduced to the major texts, charismatic mystical masters, and schools of Kabbalah, beginning with the ancient Rabbis through to contemporary exponents such as Hasidim and messianic groups. Particular attention will be focused on the Zohar (Book of Splendour) and popular appeals to the mystical tradition.
[Note: Knowledge of Hebrew is not required. This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 213)

JS 215 LEC 0.50Course ID: 014248
Visions of Israel in Judaism: From Biblical to Modern Times
This course surveys the significance of the land of Israel in Judaism from historical, textual, and religious perspectives. Topics covered include the politics of Ancient Israel, the concept of Israel in prayer and the rabbinic and medieval Jewish imagination, portrayals of Israel in Christian and Muslim texts, and the origins, visions, and challenges of Zionism and the modern State of Israel.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors]
(Cross-listed with RS 230)
Only offered Online

JS 217 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008308
Judaism
An introduction to the religious tradition of the Jews, in terms of beliefs, practices, ideals, and institutions from the beginning to the present time.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 210)

JS 233 LEC 0.50Course ID: 011636
The Holocaust and Film
An examination of the Holocaust as portrayed in feature films and documentaries. Do cinematic attempts capture the horror of the Holocaust faithfully, or trivialize it? The background to anti-semitism, use of religious imagery in propaganda films, and what counts as "success" or "failure" in cinematic representations are discussed.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 3B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 272)

JS 237 LEC 0.50Course ID: 012724
Insiders and Outsiders in the Bible
This course explores the tension between insiders and outsiders in the Bible, examining the rationale for and implications of issues such as purity, holy war, the chosen people, and the Gentiles.
[Note: This course fulfils an Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 237)

JS 250 LEC 0.50Course ID: 011983
Special Topics
One or more special courses will be offered at different times. Consult the Department for current offerings.
(Cross-listed with RS 215)

JS 300s


JS 301 DIS,LEC 0.50Course ID: 011155
Canada and the Holocaust
An analysis of the response to the Holocaust, from 1933 to 1945, and the legacy of the event since the war in Canadian society.

JS 306A LEC 0.50Course ID: 008365
Intermediate Classical Hebrew
Reading and grammatical analysis of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors, but not both.]
Department Consent Required
Prereq: JS 105B/RS 132.
(Cross-listed with RS 331)

JS 306B LEC 0.50Course ID: 008366
Ancient Semitic Texts and Inscriptions
Reading and analysis of Iron Age inscriptions and ostraca in Hebrew or closely related Canaanite dialects, including the Siloam and Mesha inscriptions and the Lachish letters, plus a selection from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors, but not both. Taught at Laurier as HB 202.]
Department Consent Required
Prereq: JS 105B/RS 132.
(Cross-listed with RS 332)

JS 313 LEC 0.50Course ID: 013095
Moses Maimonides: Life and Thought
This course examines the life and thought of Moses Maimonides, the most important thinker in Jewish history. It explores his contributions to philosophy, law, biblical interpretation and his attempt to reconcile religion and science.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
Prereq: Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with RS 313)

JS 338 LEC 0.50Course ID: 012720
Seeking Wisdom in the Bible
This course explores the theme of wisdom in the Bible and related literature in the period from ancient Israel to the first century CE. It examines the varied cultural influences on biblical wisdom traditions.
[Note: This course fulfils an Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
Prereq: One of RS 130/JS 131, 235, 236
(Cross-listed with RS 338)

JS 339 LEC 0.50Course ID: 012959
The Bible (Old Testament) and Archaeology
This course examines the Bible in relation to the archaeology and material culture of the Ancient Near East. It will explore how archaeological discoveries contribute to our understanding of the events, personalities and narratives of the Hebrew Bible.
[Note: This course fulfills an Area 1B or Area 2A requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
Prereq: Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with RS 339)

JS 341 LEC 0.50Course ID: 013232
Jewish Contributions to Political Thought
This course examines Jewish communal organization and contributions to political thought. Issues discussed include the nature of legitimate authority in conditions of Jewish diaspora, the intellectual and political foundations for governance in the Jewish tradition from the time of the Exodus to the establishment of the modern state of Israel.
[Note: This course fulfills the Area 1B requirement for RS majors.]
Prereq: Level at least 3A
(Cross-listed with RS 341)

JS 350 SEM 0.50Course ID: 011187
Special Topics in Jewish Studies
One or more special courses will be offered at different times. Consult the Department for current offerings.

JS 400s


JS 450 SEM 0.50Course ID: 011188
Special Topics in Jewish Studies
One or more special courses will be offered at different times. Consult the Department for current offerings.