An Introduction to Rabbinic Literature

Fall 2017
T 3:30-5:20pm
Area I
MDIV Requirements: 
Non-Christian Religion
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

An exploration of rabbinic culture and introduction to the major texts that shaped Judaism for centuries to come. Issues of gender and ethnicity, Jewish-Christian interactions, Jewish Mysticism, creation of Jewish liturgy, and Rabbinic modes of grappling with the Bible, through the lives and thought of key figures, and as expressed in the major genres of rabbinic literature–Mishnah, Tosefta, Midrash, Targum, the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds.

Classes will be based on secondary reading materials read at home, and primary sources read together in class. The class assumes no prior knowledge of rabbinic literature or Hebrew. The goal of the class is to introduce the students to the world of rabbinic literature: both its corpus and its main themes. Special attention will be given to foster future independent access to the rabbinic sources, for scholars from other disciplines.  

Background Expected: 


Course Requirements: 

A midterm paper (40%) and final exam (50%)

Regular attendance, active class participation, and careful preparation of all class reading assignments will count as 10% of the final grade.

Basis of Evaluation: 

See attached syllabus