MIDEAST 242 - Rabbis: Literature and Culture
Fall 2020, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in HJCS 470 or JUDAIC 470 or HJCS 570 or ACABS 570 or JUDAIC 570.
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The writings that comprise rabbinic literature are considered by many to be masterpieces of the ancient world. Some consider the Talmud (the primary text in the rabbinic corpus) to be the single most influential document in the history of Judaism. This course will explore the history and substance of these writings on three levels. First, we will situate the rabbinic literary enterprise within a broader cultural, historical and religious context. Second, we will examine the various genres that constitute rabbinic literature and get acquainted with the sages, an elite group of Jewish intellectuals, who created this corpus during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Finally, we will trace the way subsequent generations gradually shaped these texts to their current format and endowed them with their exalted status.

Course Requirements:

Preparation of texts for weekly discussions; Class presentation of final project; Mid-term and final

Intended Audience:

Undergraduate students of all level; no knowledge of languages beyond English is needed

Class Format:

Lecture with discussions. As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning. Students will need to be available for virtual class meetings on Thursdays 4-6pm.


MIDEAST 242 - Rabbis: Literature and Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
Th 4:00PM - 7:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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