Judaisms in Transition: Crises and Innovations (THE1104)

StaffDr David Tollerton - Convenor
Professor Siam Bhayro - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This core module will introduce the development of Jewish identities and traditions from antiquity to the present day. We will focus on a series of case studies, including the destruction of the first and second temples, the rise of Christianity and Islam, the Enlightenment, the rise of Hasidism and Zionism.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate, with guidance, a basic knowledge and understanding of Jewish history
  • 2. demonstrate an understanding of the impact of key moments/events on the development of Judaism
  • 3. demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the socio-religious context of pivotal crises in Jewish history
  • 4. demonstrate awareness of how personal and communal identities and motivations are shaped by socio-religious contexts and how important such identities are

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. begin, with guidance, to demonstrate comprehension of some of the textual expressions of the case study Jewish thinkers and communities
  • 6. begin, with guidance, to employ a variety of complementary methods of study: historical-critical; socio-religious; literary; theological and ideological
  • 7. evaluate and analyse, with guidance, a diversity of primary and secondary sources

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. undertake guided work within broad guidelines
  • 9. collect and categorise information relevant to particular essays, with guidance
  • 10. demonstrate the ability to summarise information accurately and fairly
  • 11. make use of selected written sources, with clear guidance
  • 12. communicate clearly in writing
  • 13. participate appropriately in a learning group
  • 14. discuss sensitive issues with appropriate generosity

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • the destruction of the First Temple
  • Antiochus IV and the Hasmoneans
  • the destruction of the Second Temple
  • responses to Christianity
  • responses to Islam
  • transition session
  • Hasidism
  • The Enlightenment
  • orthodoxy, conservatism and reform
  • women in modern Judaisms
  • modern Zionism

This module will comprise eleven two-hour classes that will include lecture material, guided discussion, the presentation of various primary sources with secondary analysis, and the regular provision of written handouts. Feedback on the formative essay will be provided in class and in tutorials. Guidance will be provided concerning directed reading and private study. Students will be expected to read at least one chapter from a secondary source in preparation for each class.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11Seminars
Guided independent study117Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay2000 words1-12Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1002000 words1-12Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-12Refer/Defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • J.J. Collins, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004)
  • H. Eshel, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hasmonean State (Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2008)
  • J.C. VanderKam, An Introduction to Early Judaism (Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2001)
  • P. Mendes-Flohr and J. Reinharz (eds.), The Jew in the Modern World (Oxford: OUP, 1995)
  • H. Rubinstein, Jews in the Modern World: A History Since 1750 (New York: OUP, 2002)
  • N. de Lange and M. Freud-Kandel (eds.), Modern Judaism (Oxford: OUP, 2005)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=4908

Available as distance learning?


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