Magda Teter-Professor of History Faculty Photo

Magda Teter

of History

Director of Jewish and Israel Studies Program

Wesleyan University

Allbritton 203

Middletown, CT 06459

Tel: 860.685.5356

Fax: 860.685.2078

Office Hours: Wednesday 10:30-12, Thursday 9-11, or by appointment (please email for an appointment)

History Department

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SOCS 641: Jews in Christian and Muslim Lands

In contemporary world rife with religious conflicts many pundits project modern ideas of religion and religious divisions onto the past.  Many commonly speak of anti-Semitism even when referring to the medieval period, or discuss of long centuries of conflict between Jews and Muslims.  This course will explore a variety of topics concerning relations and attitudes between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  We will look at the process of religious separation that took place between these religious groups, reading both foundational texts of each of the group (Bible, Talmud, Church fathers, the Qur'an etc) and their religious polemic against the other groups (Christian and Muslim anti-Jewish polemic, Jewish anti-Christian and anti-Muslim polemic).  At the same time, we will ask ourselves questions about real life interactions between these groups, to what extent real people were aware and affected by what religious elites were writing and reading.

Course Requirements            Course Readings

 Class Schedule:

1.  Tue. 06/24 Introduction: Middle Ages and the Jews. Salo Baron "The Jewish Factor in Medieval Civilization" in Ancient and Medieval History of the Jews, 239-267; Mark Cohen "Myth and Counter Myth" and "Religions in Conflict" in Under Crescent and Cross, 3-29. The Book of Genesis in the Bible

2.  Th. 06/26 Jews and the Other in the Bible: Morton Smith ""The Old Testament and Its Interpretation" in Palestinian Parties and Politics that Shaped  the Old Testament, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Lamentations, Isaiah 1-5, 7-11; 30, 42-44; 47-49; 52, 53; 59; 61; Jeremiah 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 31, 32, 44; Psalms: 2, 13; 15; 16; 18; 59; 111; 119;132;

Further suggested readings: Philip Davis In Search of Ancient Israel

3.  Tue.  07/01:  The Rise of Christianity and the Jews: All Gospels; Epistles of Paul (Romans, Corinthians I and II, Galatians, and Ephesians), and A Letter to Hebrews.

Further suggested readings:  Brandon "History of Theology? Basic Problems of the Evidence of the Trial of Jesus of Nazareth," D. Flusser "The Dead Sea Sect and Pre-Pauline Christianity; W. Meeks "Breaking Away" and M. Simon "History or Theology;" Lawrence Schiffman "Jewish Sectarianism in Second Temple Times" in Great Schisms in Jewish History

4.  Th. 07/03 NO CLASS

5. Tu. 07/08 Rabbinic Judaism--Jews and the Other in the Mishnah and the Talmud: Gerson Cohen "Rabinnic Heritage" in Studies in the Variety of Rabbinic Cultures, 61-97. Mishnah Avodah Zarah, Schiffman, Texts and Traditions, 117-120; 517-531; 535-537; Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah: 22b-29b, 35b-40b, 44b-45a, 75b.FIRST ASSIGNMENT ANNOUNCED

.6.  Th.  07/10 Christianity and the Jews II: Church Fathers and the Papacy: Augustine, Gregory I (handout on BlackBoard) ; John Chrysostom, Homilies I-IV; Chazan Church, State and the Jew 15-43; 167-205,  Grayzel pp. 92-95, 114-117, 198-203. Medieval Sourcebook: Justinian: Novella 146: On Jews. TOPICS AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES for the FINAL PROJECT DUE

6.  Tue. 07/15 Islam and the Other: The Qur`an: Anton Wessels Understanding the Qur'an, 1-8, 27-38, 123-142; Richard Bell Introduction to the Qur'an chapters II: "The Origin of the Qur'an" and III: "The Form of the Qur'an", 37-66; The Qur'an Suras: 1-5, 17, 24, 26, 56, 63, 68, 75, 112, 114; Stillman, The Jews in Arab Lands, 113-123; 149-158; 167-168; DRAFT OF FIRST ASSIGNMENT DUE by 6 pm-- please submit via blackboard, or email.

Further suggested readings: Camilla Adang Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible, "The Reception of Biblical Materials in Early Islam," 1-22; Stillman, Jews in Arab Lands, 1-40;

7.  Th. 07/17 Jewish Attitudes to the Other in the Middle Ages-Polemic: Testimonium Flavianum - JosephusCelsus on Jesus- 2nd Century ;Tertullian Mocks Jewish 'Slanders' ; Yeshu and Joshua b. Perachiah ; Baraitha Sanhedrin 43a ; Toledoth Yeshu; (+Handout, Midrash), A Medieval Sourcebook: Judah Ha-Levi, The Kuzari, part I. ; A Maimonides Reader "Epistle to Yemen," 437-462; Church, State, and the Jew, ch. 16 ("Pope Gregory IX" and "Nicolas Donin") and ch. 19 ("Paul Christian); Jacob Katz Exclusiveness and Tolerance, 3-113 

SUNDAY 07/20 FIRST ASSIGNMENT DUE by 10 am - please submit via blackboard, or email.

8.  Tu. 07/22:  Jews and Christians in Conflict: Crusades and Medieval accusations: The Chronicles: Eidelberg, Crusades and the Jews (entire); Church, State and Jew, ch. 7-8, pp. 99-117; Grayzel, letters concerning host desecration accusations and blood libels (handouts on BlackBoard).

9.  Th. 07/24 Cultural Influences: Christianity and Judaism: Ivan Marcus, "A Jewish-Christian Symbiosis: The Culture of Early Ashkenaz," in David Biale ed., Cultures of the Jews, pp.389-449; Israel Yuval, Two Nations Are in Your Womb, chapter 5; Sefer Hasidim; Berakhiah ha-Nakdan (hand-out).

OUTLINE of the FINAL PROJECT DUE by FRIDAY 3 pm (email, or blackboard)

10. Tu.  07/29  Cultural Influences: Islam and Judaism: Camilla Adang Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible  "Al-Maqdisi's Description of Judaism",  257-263; Stillman, Jews of Arab Lands, 259-260;  The Maimonides Reader, 215-227; 235-358 (skim),402-423, 478-480; Learning and Art (Poetry) (on BlackBoard)

11.  Th.  07/31 Jewish Culture and Scholarship: Rashi (in class hand-out), The Maimonides Reader pp. 35-86; 99-108; 121-125; 135-139, 155-169, 174-177, 222-227,  Stillman, Jews in Arab Lands, 171-189, 208-229.

DRAFTS DUE Friday 4 PM (email or BlackBoard)

12.  Tue. 08/05: Coexistence:  Rabbinic responsa (hand-out on BB);  Medieval Sourcebook: A Rabbinic Responsum: The Shabbat Goy: Angevin England; Medieval Sourcebook: Gilbert Crispin: Disputation of a Jew with a Christian about the Christian Faith (Before 1096) ; Medieval Sourcebook: Anselm of Canterbury: How to Treat a Convert (before 1100) ; Medieval Sourcebook: Contact between English Jews and Christians: Two Twelfth-century Views Medieval Sourcebook: Gerald of Wales: Two Cistercian Monks turn Jews (before 1200)Medieval Sourcebook: Medieval Converts to Judaism: France and Germany; Medieval Sourcebook: A Business Partnership between a Jew and Christian in Barcelona, 1235-1242 CE

FINAL PROJECTS DUE FRIDAY 08/08  or 08/15 (as you wish) 4 pm please submit via blackboard, or email.

Other suggested readings:

Medieval legal status:

Mark Cohen Under Crescent and Cross, 30-76; Salo Baron "Plenitude of Apostolic Powers and Medieval "Jewish Serfdom" in Ancient and Medieval Jewish History.

Roman Law and Christian Emperors: Jewish History Sourcebook: Jews and the Later Roman Law 315-531 CE (also in Jacob Marcus? Jew in the Medieval World); Jewish History Sourcebook: Julian and the Jews 361-363 CE (also in Jacob Marcus? Jew in the Medieval World); Medieval Sourcebook: Justinian: Novella 146: On Jews

Medieval legal status: Medieval Sourcebook: Royal Grants to the Jewish Community of Barcelona, 1241-1271  Medieval Sourcebook: Jewish Community of Barcelona: The Book of Document Forms; Medieval Sourcebook: Barcelona Jewish Court Documents, 1293: A Daughter's Inheritance; Medieval Sourcebook: Barcelona Jewish Court Documents: A Jewish Widow and her Daughter, 1261-1262 ;

Jewish Legal Status  and The Church: Chazan Church, State and the Jew 15-43; 167-205.

Jewish Status Under Islam: (Stillman Jews of Arab Lands, Part One, ch.  1; Part Two, ch.  1, ch.  2: pp.  152-170; The Exilarchs and the Gaonim, and others  (Stillman: Part Two, ch.  2 pp.  171-189, 208-214, 217-226; Medieval Sourcebook: Abraham Ibd Daud: On Samuel Ha-Nagid, Vizier of Granada, 11Cent

Culture: ;Medieval Sourcebook: Rashi: Jewish Community in Troyes, c.1100 ; Medieval Sourcebook: Jewish Ethical Wills, 12th & 14th Centuries ; Medieval Sourcebook: Reciting the Grace after Meals: The Status of Jewish Women, from Berakhot, chapter 7 .