10932 Secularization in Modern Jewish Culture 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Judaic Studies or in History

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including one course in Judaic Studies or in Modern History or in Modern History of the Jewish People. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Authors: Shmuel Feiner, Ron Margolin, Avriel Bar-Levav, Shai Frogel, Denis Charbit, Gideon Katz, Michal Arbel

The course examines the historical roots of modern Jewish secular culture, and the complex process of building Jewish identities in the modern era. It presents the history of secularism, Jewish and general secular thought, the cultural controversies and the reflection of secularism in modern Hebrew literature. The course analyzes the processes of secularization and the ways in which Jews struggled with modernity historically, culturally and spiritually.

Topics: The birth of secularism in European philosophy; The beginning of secularization among European Jewry and Jews in the Muslim world; Secular Jewish identities; Controversies; Secularism in modern Hebrew literature.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.