In the 14th and 15th centuries, many Jews converted to Christianity to remain alive, while continuing to practice Judaism secretly. In 1492, during the Spanish Inquisition, many of these "crypto" or "secret" Jews, also referred to as Marranos and Conversos, escaped to Portugal and other areas on the continent.
This course will study the Quran's presentation of characters and stories found in the Hebrew Bible. We will explore the similarities and differences between the tales as they appear in the Quran and as they appear in the Torah.
The concept of the Messiah has played an enormous role in Jewish thought and history. We will explore literature about the Messiah and the future redemption, and we will learn about a series of Jewish figures who presented themselves as the Messiah over the past two millennia.
For a century following the French Revolution, the Jewish citizens of France felt accepted and welcomed as part of Europe's largest democracy. That view was shattered with the arrest, trial and retrial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus on charges of espionage and the heated public debate around his guilt or innocence.
The Aleppo Codex is the oldest Hebrew Bible in existence today. Scribed around 900 CE in Tiberius, it traveled to Aleppo, Syria, in the 15th century, where it was preserved for 500 years. From there it was smuggled to Israel just after the founding of the state, but in the process, many of its sacred pages went missing.
The issues most at stake in the Jewish world today have roots in the great debates emerging in the early modern era: Western Jews’ relationship to Israel and Zionism, how to address anti–Semitism, and the contours of Jewish identity.