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Cornell University    
  Dec 18, 2017
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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NES 2644 - Introduction to Judaism

(crosslisted) ANTHR 2644 , JWST 2644 , RELST 2644  
(GHB) (HA-AS) (CU-ITL)     
Fall. 3 credits. Student option grading.

J. Boyarin.

Jewish communities have been established, flourished and often struggled for millennia, throughout much of the world, and in vital contact with a vast range of other peoples and cultures. This course examines the constant and dynamic tension between that which unites Jews in all these different times and places, and that which makes every Jew a person of his or her own time and place. Our whirlwind tour will take us from ancient Israel, through Babylonia and the world of early Islam, into the medieval origins of Ashkenazi Jewry, down to Ottoman North Africa, and all the way across the Indian Ocean. We will learn how Jewish and other diaspora communities overcome challenges to maintain their distinctive identities, how to engage critically with the ways contemporary scholars the records of these far-flung communities, and how to generate their own critical questions.

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