2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HIST 232 - Judaism and the Origins of Christianity

Most people think of Christianity as having descended from Judaism.  In this course, we will see that what we know as Judaism and Christianity both claimed ownership of the same textual tradition.  Both developed within the same political and religious landscape of the eastern Mediterranean in the first century CE and both drew heavily on contemporary Greek philosophy and literature.  Through close readings of the  principal sources of Christian literature, such as Paul’s letters to the first communities of Christian believers and the Gospel accounts of the life and death of Jesus, we will examine how Christianity first came to claim the title of  “New Israel” and how its controversial messianic interpretation of ancient Israelite prophecy shaped the evolution of rabbinic Judaism.  Focusing on the historical context of the  original  Jewish-Christian rivalry, we will see how their momentous split continues to shape our own social commitments, perceptions of divine and human justice, and attitudes toward family, community and self.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Bi-annually