RELG330

RELG 330 Origins of Judaism

This course surveys the history and literature of Jews and Judaism during the Second Temple era. It covers the formative age of Judaism, from the destruction of the First Jerusalem Temple in 586 B.C.E. to the Babylonian Exile, through the Hellenistic and Early Roman ages, to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., and ends with the beginnings of the rabbinic movement (c. 200 C.E.). This course will also provide a broad context for the emergence of early Christianity and the so-called “parting of the ways” with Judaism. We will read from an array of primary sources (all in English translation), including the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hellenistic Jewish writings (e.g. Philo and Josephus), and end with a taste of early rabbinic texts (Mishnah). We will also closely examine archaeological finds from the era, including inscriptions, remains of ancient synagogues, temples, pottery, coins, and works of ancient art.