An introduction to Judaism in the modern world, with emphasis on contemporary issues and debates.
Although there are only 14 million Jews worldwide, Judaism is the precursor of both
Christianity and Islam and has played a significant role in the cultures of Europe,
the Middle East and the US. This paper focuses on modern Judaism, as it developed
over the last two centuries, so as to understand the beliefs and practices of contemporary
We will consider questions such as: why are there disagreements between different Jewish sects or movements, including Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaisms? What is the Ultra-Orthodox movement, and are they 'fundamentalists'? What do Jews mean when they claim to be the Chosen People? What are Jewish beliefs about a coming Messiah in the end times? How does Judaism treat women? What is Jewish mysticism - Hasidism and Kabbalah? Why has antisemitism arisen in Europe and in Christianity, and how did it result in persecutions and the Holocaust? How did Zionism - the movement to establish a modern state of Israel - arise, and what are the religious dimensions of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine? Can we say that Israel is a secular state, as it sometimes claims? This paper provides an introduction to the academic study of a social group that challenges the boundaries of religion, politics and culture. No background in religion is required.
|Paper title||Special Topic:Judaism in the Modern World (Advanced)|
|Points||18 points 18 points|
|Teaching period(s)||Summer School, Summer School|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$868.95|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$3,656.70|
- 18 200-level RELS or RELX points
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music, Theology
- May not be credited together with RELS 230 when passed with the same content.
- Dr Deane Galbraith, email@example.com
- More information link
- View more information on the Religion programme's website
- Teaching staff
- Lecturer: Dr Deane Galbraith
Course Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Will Sweetman
- Paper Structure
- Section 1: Judaism: History, Practices, Beliefs
- Section 2: Modernity and Movements
- Section 3: Contemporary Debates
- Section 4: Antisemitism, Holocaust, Post-Holocaust Judaism
- Section 5: Zionism, Israel and Palestine
- Teaching Arrangements
- Five hours of lectures per week for five weeks
All lectures will be recorded and made available to distance students.
- A course reader has been developed for this paper and will be available in print and PDF form.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to
- Describe and distinguish various modern forms of Judaism and their origins, practices, beliefs and constructions of identity
- Understand various critical methods as applied to Judaic studies, their applicability to its subfields and their relative strengths and weaknesses
- Understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints on select issues and debates within modern Judaism
- Write clear, persuasive, critical and knowledgeable essays on contemporary topics and debates within Judaic studies
- Articulate the strengths and weaknesses of positions within Judaic studies
- Relate developments in various contemporary forms of Judaism to the demands and challenges of modernity
- Assess the limitations and contingencies of the category of religion as it is employed within Judaic studies