Judaic Studies enables students to develop a broad knowledge of the history, religion, literature, philosophy, languages, and politics of the Jews. Jewish societies, texts, ideologies, material cultures, and institutions are studied in a comparative perspective in the context of histories, cultures, and intellectual traditions among which Jews have lived throughout the ages. As an interdisciplinary program, Judaic Studies employs historical, literary, political, social, and philosophical methods of analysis.
The Judaic Studies major—especially as a second major with Economics, Political Science, Literature, English, Philosophy, or History—offers a broad and interdisciplinary liberal arts background combined with an intensive preparation in the historical and religious experience of Jewish culture in its various civilizational contexts, from antiquity to contemporary times. The major epochs of Jewish history are the Persian and Hellenistic period, including biblical, para-biblical, and Hellenistic Jewish writings; the classical period, including the literature, history, and thought of rabbinic Judaism and its antecedents; the medieval period, including Jewish history, literature, and thought in both Christian and Islamic lands; the early modern period, including Jewish history from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries; and the modern period which includes the history, literature, and thought of Jews and Judaism from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first century with attention to the impact of modernization.
The major includes a set of core requirements and two areas of concentration. Students may count up to three Hebrew language courses toward the completion of the major requirements. Those who choose not to study modern Hebrew must enroll in at least two courses in Hebrew literature in translation.
Students considering the major in Judaic Studies should contact the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) as soon as possible.