Introduction to Judaism

A survey of Judaism and its emergence from Israelite religion into the rabbinic culture of interpretation and halakah (Jewish law). Using both a historical and thematic approach, the course focuses upon key periods of development and upon the major ideas, movements, and practices central to ancient and modern Jewish life and thought. Attention is paid to the role of sacred Jewish texts and interpretation, community, covenant, and halakahic observance as well as the crises, challenges, and choices confronting Judaic faith and practice today. The course includes such topics as anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel.