Modern Jewish Thought

Spring 2021
THEO2260/GERM 2160: MW, 3-4:15 PM

Syllabus

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Class Notes

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πŸ“– Simon Noveck, ed., Contemporary Jewish Thought: A Reader, 2007. First Ben Yehuda Press Edition. ISBN 9780978998066
πŸ“– Martin Buber, I and Thou, ISBN 9780684717258
πŸ“– Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State, ISBN 9780486258492
πŸ“– Other readings at Canvas to be printed and brought to class

Modern Jewish Thought

πŸ“– Primary Literature (read as homework)
πŸ“Œ Secondary material to be covered in class (Students will be responsible for citing the material on exams. If citing in essays, students should cite more precisely with author and page number.)
✎ 1-2 page critical response (write)
πŸ“₯ 3-4 page essay (write)
πŸ‘“ speaker
DateAssignments are due on the date to the left.
Week 1INTRODUCTION, SPINOZA
Mon, February 1πŸ“Œ Spinoza's excommunication (herem)
Wed, February 3πŸ“– Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (excerpts, Preface, Ch. 3, Ch. 17 + skim selection of your choosing p. 19-30, 71-88, 287-315 (56 pages))
πŸ“Œ Willi Goetschel, Spinoza’s Modernity: Mendelssohn, Lessing, and Heine (2004, excerpt)
Week 2Shabbtai Zvi & False Messiahs of the 17th century
Mon, February 8πŸ“– Gershom Scholem, Redemption through Sin (1936 [1971]), 78-141, (63 pages)
Wed, February 10πŸ“– The Memoirs of GlΓΌckel of Hameln, transl. Marvin Lowenthal (Ch. 3, 40-65)
✎ 1-2 page critical response (write)
Woche 3Mendelssohn & 18th-19th century Emancipation
Mon, February 15πŸ“– David Sorkin, Moses Mendelssohn and the Religious Enlightenment (1996) Intro, Ch. 8-9 (41 pages)
πŸ“– Primary documents: Frederick II, Charter Decreed for the Jews of Prussia (1750) + Mendelssohn on Michaelis (7 pages)
πŸ‘“ Tomer Mangoubi, Karaite Judaism

Wed, February 17πŸ“– Moses Mendelssohn, Jerusalem (1783), Ch. 2, 50-103 (53 pages)
Week 4Reform Judaism, 19th century
Mon, February 22πŸ“– Susannah Heschel, Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (1998) Ch. 1, 23-49 (27 pages)
πŸ“– Reform Judaism primary documents (The Jew in the Modern World, 1980) 145-168 (24 pages)



Wed, February 24Orientalism
πŸ“– John M. Efron, German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic (2015) Ch. 3, 112-160 (49 pages)
πŸ“Œ Pittsburgh Reform Platform, 1885
πŸ“Œ Ivan Davidson Kalmar and Derek J. Penslar, Orientalism and the Jews, (2005, Intro.)
✎ 1-2 page critical response (write)
Week 5Zionism, 20th century
Mon, March 1πŸ“– Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State (1896), Preface - Ch. 3, 67-122 (54 pages)
Wed, March 3🚫 Mid-Semester Breakβ€”no class
Thurs, March 4Mid-Semester Make-Up
πŸ“– Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State (1896), Ch.4 - Conclusion, 123-157 (35 pages)
πŸ“Œ Michael LΓΆwy, Redemption and Utopia: Jewish Libertarian Thought in Central Europe (1992, excerpts)
Week 6
Mon, March 8πŸ“– Abraham Isaac Kuk, including "The Land of Israel," "The Rebirth of Israel," "The Experience of Mysticism" (Noveck, 95-128) 34 pages
πŸ“– Todd Presner, β€œClear Heads, Solid Stomachs, and Hard
Muscles” (2003, 28 pages)
Wed, March 10Messianism in Secular Thought
πŸ“– Walter Benjamin, β€œTask of the Translator,” β€œThe Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," β€œTheses on the Philosophy of History” (Illuminations, 1968) 69-82, ,219-254, 255-266 (62 pages)
πŸ“– Walter Benjamin, β€œTheologico-Political Fragment,” 312-313 (2 pages)
Week 7
Mon, March 15πŸ“– Walter Benjamin/Gershom Scholem, The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem, 1932–1940
πŸ“Œ Hannah Arendt, β€œIntroduction,” in Illuminations (1955)
πŸ“₯ Essay on Messianism.
Wed, March 17πŸ“– Martin Buber, I and Thou (1923) First Part, 51-85, 33 pages
Week 8Buber
Mon, March 22πŸ“– Martin Buber, I and Thou (1923), Second - Third Part 87-144, 58 pages
Wed, March 24πŸ“– Martin Buber, I and Thou (1923), Third Part 144-168, 25 pages
✎ 1-2 page critical response
Week 9
Mon, March 29🚫 Passoverβ€”no class
Wed, March 31πŸ“– Martin Buber, including The Word β€œGod,” God and the World’s Evil, Jewish Renaissance (Noveck, 243-275) 33 pages
πŸ“– Michael Brenner, Renaissance of Jewish Culture in Weimar Germany (1996, excerpts)

Woche 10Rosenzweig
Mon, April 5πŸ“– Franz Rosenzweig, Star of Redemption (1921, excerpts)
Wed, April 7πŸ“– Franz Rosenzweig, including On Jewish Learning, Hebrew Language, The Builders: Concerning the Law (Noveck, 213-236) 24 pages
πŸ“– Siegfried Kracauer, β€œThose Who Wait,” in The Mass Ornament
πŸ“Œ Naomi Seidman, Faithful Renderings (2006, excerpt)
Week 11Susman
Mon, April 12πŸ“– Margarete Susman, "God the creator". In: Nahum N. Glatzer (Ed.), The Dimensions of Job: A Study and Selected Readings. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2002 (originally published by Schocken Books, 1969). ISBN 9781592440061. p. 86-92 (7 pages)

Wed, April 14πŸ“– Yael Almog, β€œJewish Diaspora and the Stakes of Nationalism: Margarete Susman’s Theodicy” Religions 10, no. 2 (2019), 103-112. (10 pages)
πŸ“– Margarete Susman, β€œOn Franz Rosenzweig's The Star of Redemption", translated by Joachim Neugroschel. In: Arthur A. Cohen (ed.), The Jew, Essays from Martin Buber's Journal Der Jude, 1916-1928.
Week 12πŸ“₯ Essay on Jewish Statism, peoplehood.
Mon, April 19Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism
Wed, April 21πŸ“– Passover haggadot (Course Reserves, Handout)
✎ Prepare for Essay 3 by completing handout (Canvas)
Week 13
Mon, April 26πŸ“– Kaufmann Kohler, including "Evolution and Religion," "The Nature and Purpose of Prayer," "Mission of Israel" (Noveck, 293-323) 31 pages


Psychoanalysis of Jewish Theology
πŸ“Œ Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism (1939, excerpt)
πŸ“Œ Yosef Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses (1993, Introduction)
Wed, April 28πŸ“– Mordechai Kaplan, including "An Approach to Jewish Religion," "A Conception of God," "The Social Structure of American Jewish Life" (Noveck, 329-361) 33 pages
✎ First page of Final Essay due
Week 14Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism / Feminist Jewish Theology
Mon, May 3πŸ“– Rachel Adler, Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics. Philadelphia and Jerusalem: 1998 (excerpts)
Wed, May 5Hasidism, 18th century
πŸ“– The Religious Thought of Hasidism: Text and Commentary, Edited by Norman Lamm, Michael Scharf Publication Trust of Yeshiva University
Fri, May 14 πŸ“₯ Essay 3 on Passover haggadot. Essay and makeup work due by 12pm noon.