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HIST 2050. History of Jewish Civilization: From the Bible to Modernity. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the richness and diversity of Jewish civilization from antiquity to the present. Examination of evolving notions of "who" or "what" is Jewish. Key concepts including “chosenness,” community, peoplehood, diaspora, redemption, and Torah. How the boundaries of Jewishness have been formed, contested, and revised over time; how Jews managed to retain their identity throughout their millennial history of migration, dispersion, and persecution; what unites Jewish civilization; and whether a unified Jewish history over centuries and continents can be traced, as distinct from multiple “histories” of the Jews in the myriad times and places in which they lived. Emphasis on analysis of primary texts and cultural objects along with contextual understanding of Jews and Judaism.