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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Marina Rustow
SISJE 367
Seattle Campus

Medieval Jewish History

Social and intellectual history of the Jews in Western Europe to fifteenth century. Jews under Islam and Christianity; the church and the Jews; the Crusades and their legacy; intellectual achievements; conflict and cooperation. Offered: jointly with HSTAM 367.

Class description

This course will survey the history of the Jews under Christian and Islamic rule from late antiquity until the expulsions from Spain and Portugal. It will use both primary sources in translation and modern scholarly reconstructions to trace the development of Jewish culture and social institutions as responses to specific historical circumstances. Themes include the development and dissemination of rabbinic Judaism; sectarianism,heresy, and the self-conscious construction of a mainstream religious tradition; migrations and shifting centers of population; interaction with non-Jewish cultures and the questions of influence and acculturation; Jewish autonomy and self-government; poetry, philosophy, art, and other forms of cultural production in their social context.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Two lectures and one discussion section per week.

Recommended preparation

No formal prerequisites, but students will benefit from previous classes in history, religion, Jewish studies, or other ethnic studies courses.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly readings; short and medium-length writing assignments; mid-term and final.

Completion of readings, participation in discussions, written work and exams.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Loryn Hazan Paxton
Date: 09/25/2002