The course will examine the varied relations between Jews and
Christians from antiquity to the present, focusing on the ways in which
Jews and Christians have thought about and represented the other, and
the issues that have divided the two communities. We will trace
the origins of Christian anti-Judaism and examine how theology,
culture, politics, and economics contributed to the formation of
antisemitism in the Medieval and modern periods. We will also
study how Jews have understood Christianity and responded to Christian
claims about Jews and Judaism.
- To understand the perceptions and attitudes that Jews and
Christians have had toward one another, how those attitudes have been
expressed in religious and secular literature, and how those attitudes
have manifested themselves in personal, social, and legal relations.
To understand how politics, economics, science, and culture have influenced relations between Jews and Christians.
To understand the connection between inter-group relations and identity
formation, and what a group’s perception of the Other says about or
contributes to its own self-definition.
Edward Kessler, An Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Folger Library (Simon and Schuster, 2010)
Readings from ancient, Medieval, and modern sources are posted on Sakai (in the “Resources” folder) and are also available through this site's online syllabus.
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