Graduate - Fall 2011 Course Descriptions
REL 3690. Master’s Thesis Research. 
Religion 2500. Elementary Biblical Hebrew. A two-semester course of study leading to a reading knowledge of the Hebrew Bible. Open for credit to Undergraduate and M.A. students only. [3–3] Whitcomb.
Religion 2514. Elementary Modern Hebrew. Introduction to alphabet, the basics of grammar,
and elementary conversation. Spring: greater emphasis on conversation and grammar.
Religion 3102. Intermediate Modern Hebrew. Modern Hebrew reading, conversation, and advanced grammar. Spring: greater emphasis on reading and writing. Prerequisite: one year of Modern Hebrew or its equivalent.  Halachmi.
Yiddish (by examination)
Ladino (by examination)
Judaeo-Arabic (by examination)
AREA 1: BIBLICAL STUDIES
Religion 2503. The Hebrew Bible. The life and thought of ancient Israel, with emphasis on the community's understanding of itself and of its role in history, are addressed in this course; concentration is upon both the problems of historical and literary interpretations and the Israelites' religious practices and faith. Not available for Ph.D. credit in biblical studies.  Sasson, J.
Religion 3133. Book of Job. A study of the book of Job, attending to its literary features, religious themes, internal disputes regarding theodicy, and its relation to other texts from the region.  Knight.
Religion 3148. The Cultures of Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Students will consider the cultural and religious milieus of Mesopotamia and Anatolia before Alexander the Great and their relationship to the Hebrew Bible.  Sasson.
AREA 2: ANTIQUITY AND THE MEDIEVAL WORLD
Classics 209. Greece and the Near East from Alexander to Theodosius. From Alexander‘s conquest of the Persian Empire to the ascendancy of Christianity in the late fourth century. Emphasis on social, cultural, and religious transformations, within the framework of political history.  Rife.
Classics 224. The Ancient Origins of Religious Conflict in the Middle East. Religious oppositions in the eastern Mediterranean world from the Maccabean revolt to the Muslim conquests of the seventh century; beginnings of religious militancy; challenges of monotheism to Greco-Roman civilization; conversion, persecution, and concepts of heresy and holy war in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Drews.
History of Art 208. Art and Empire from Constantine to Justinian. An interdisciplinary study of Roman social, political, religious, and art historical developments in the fourth through sixth centuries CE.  Jensen.
Religion 3116. Law in Ancient Israel and the Near East. The legal materials in the Pentateuch, their relation to the prophetic movement, and the role of law in ancient Israel's thought and society against the ancient Near Eastern background.  Knight.
Religion 3813. History of Ancient Israel. Examination of the major areas of debate in the reconstruction of the history of ancient Israel and analysis of the important extra-biblical sources that have contributed to the scholarship on ancient Israel's history. The course will also address the roles that ancient Israel's Near Eastern neighbors played in the development of ancient Israel's history.  Azzoni.
AREA 3: MODERN & CONTEMPORARY EXPERIENCE
European Studies 240.01 Topics in European Studies: Conspiracy Theories, Paranoid Politics, and National Myths. Go on a journey into the history of paranoid politics, rumors, and national myth-making in modern Europe from 1700-present. Enlightenment conspiracy theories, anti-Jesuit and antisemitic myths, myth-making and the formation of the modern nation state; UFOs.  Joskowicz.
History 287d. Immigration, Race, and Nationality: The American Experience. The immigrant experience from 1776 to the present. The journeys of Irish, Jews, Asians, Latinos, and West Indians, among others. Americanization and the role of race in that process; immigration and anti-immigrant sentiment in the making of American nationality.  Gerstle.
Jewish Studies 258.01. Evolution of the Ethiopian Jews: Ancient Origins to Modern Israel. The history of the Ethiopian Jews from speculations about their origins and their development within the Ethiopian historical context. Focus on their interactions and conflict with the Ethiopian state and dominant Christian society, the influence of European Protestant missionaries and European Jews in the 19th and early 20th centuries, their struggle to maintain their particular identity, their migrations to Israel from the 1970s to 1990s, as well as some developments within Israel since the 1980s.  Quirin.
Religion 3524. The Holocaust: Its Meanings and Implications. An interdisciplinary study of the systematic destruction of the European Jewish communities during World War II. Historical, social, political, cultural developments that led to it. Psychological and sociological dimensions of its aftermath. Philosophical and theological problems it raises for both Jews and Christians.  Geller.
AREA 4: CULTURE, PHILOSOPHY, AND LITERATURE
English 283. Jewish American Literature. A survey of major developments in twentieth-century Jewish American literature through works by a range of Jewish writers to investigate the response of Jewish literature to major events in both American and World history. Also an examination of how Jewish writers have influenced and have been influenced by other literary movements in America and abroad. This will include a look at questions about immigration, ethnic and racial identity, language choice, and cultural stereotypes.  Schachter.
German 273. Nazi Cinema: The Manipulation of Mass Culture. Nazi manipulation of mass culture through film (propaganda, musicals, westerns). Some comparison with American film of the era, additional examination of ―fascist‖ aesthetic legacy in American culture today. No knowledge of German required.  Eigen.
Jewish Studies 248W. Jewish Storytelling. Twentieth-century Jewish short fiction. Traditions, transition from religious to secular cultural forms, immigration, and ethnic literary forms. All works are in English or English translation.  Schachter.
Music Literature (Blair) 261. Music, Identity, and Diversity. Issues of multiculturalism and intersections with musical expression in America. Cultural determinants such as race, gender, ethnicity, class, religion, language, ideology, folklore, and history will be studied critically. Prerequisite: any MUSL course or American and Southern Studies 100.  Simonett.
Philosophy 352.03. Topics in Philosophy: Psychoanalysis.  Oliver.
Philosophy 353.02. Figures in Philosophy: Maimonides and Friends.  Goodman.
Religion 3404. The Nature of Evil. Human evil as expressed in the Shoah, religious fundamentalism, and ethnic cleansing. Theological, philosophical, biological, and literary texts. Evil transformed by scientific inquiry since 1600.  McCarthy.
Religion 3530. Religion and Film: The Horror, the Horror. What makes a film religious? Is it a particular religious content, such as a biblical narrative, a translation of a biblical topos to another time or place, a crise de foi (resolved or not), the life or lives of religious practitioners, demonic acts (such as possession)? Or is it a film that raises the kinds of religious questions that everyday life tacitly poses, questions about meaning(lessness) origins, endings, otherness, suffering, cosmic justice, humanity, that is a film that both addresses such questions and generates them experientially in its audience? This course adopts the latter perspective and explores a variety of human religious questions and questioning through encounters with films of horror, terror, and the uncanny. The student will come to appreciate the variety and complexity by which homo religious (the human defined by religiosity) makes it through the day (and night).  Mr. Geller.