Recent classes dealing with the Holocaust, Judaic Studies

September 8, 1995
Contact: umichnews@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—PERSPECTIVES ON THE HOLOCAUST is a study of the Holocaust as a historical event, considering its impact on Jewish thought and culture. The class explores an event that raises fundamental questions regarding communal responsibility and its limits, visions of the Other, ethnic-religious hatred, tolerance, and healing. Elliot K. Ginsburg, an associate professor of Jewish thought, is teaching this course and can be reached at (313) 763-4670, (313) 971-2315 or at elgins@umich.edu.

FROM THE BIBLE TO THE MISHNAH covers the history and religion of ancient Judaism from the Babylonian exile to the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism. For the Jew this was the ” Second Temple Period,” the cradle of Jewish civilization. For the Christian, it was the ” Intertestamental Period” between the Old and the New Testament, the age in which Jesus was born and the Church arose. For the historian, it was an age of great conflicts in which the Jewish people had to face powerful neighbors and rulers: the Egyptians and the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. But it was also an age of great creativeness in which different varieties of Judaism developed sophisticated and lasting theologies and restlessly struggled for supremacy or simply survival. This course is being taught be Gabriele Boccaccini, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies who can be reached at (313) 764-0314.

MODERN JEWISH THOUGHT explores selected 20th century Jewish thinkers and their response to the crisis of modernity (and post-modernity), the breakdown of traditional Jewish cultures and their systems of meaning, the impact of the traumas of World War I and the Holocaust, the contemporary search for transcendence, for intimacy, and for tikkun (political, ecological, and personal ” healing” or restoration). Among the thinkers considered in this course are Martin Buber, Franz Rosenweig, the political activist-theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Hebrew authors Bialik and Agnon, and two contemporary voices, the feminist theologian Judith Plaskow and the mystically inflected seeker and scholar, Arthur Green. This course is taught by Elliot Ginsburg, an associate professor of Jewish thought, who can be reached at (313) 763-4670, (313) 971-2315 or at elgins@umich.edu.

THE AGE OF MOSES AND RAMESSES looks into the unique intellectual culture of ancient Israel in its historical setting, the age of Ramesses II, king of Egypt, and his contemporary, Moses. Comparisons are made of the history of this period as written by the Israelites with records kept by their Egyptian contemporaries and asks the question, ” Are the biblical accounts factually accurate or a literary fabrication?” Charles Krahmalkov, professor of ancient Near Eastern languages and literatures, can be reached at (313) 747-0097 or (313) 663-9123.

 

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