• Accademic Unit
    Centre Cardinal Bea for Judaic Studies
  • Course
    Licentiate in Judaic Studies and Jewish-Christian relations , Annual Diploma in Judaic Studies and Jewish-Christian relations

Objectives: Student who take this course should be able to describe the basic elements of Jewish identity, chart the evolution of contemporary Judaism, and discuss Jewish responses to modernity and the challenges facing the Jewish community today.

Content: Who are the Jewish people today? Is it possible to come up with a definition of the term “Judaism” that all Jews would accept? Even before the dawn of modernity, the Jewish people were hardly monolithic. And since then, Jews have responded to the increasingly rapid changes in society, culture, science, politics, technology, scholarship, and theology in a myriad of ways. And they continue to adapt, evolve, and innovate today. This course will begin by looking at various methodologies for studying “the Jews” with the goal of recognizing what is at stake in questions such as: “Who is a Jew”, “What is Judaism”, and “Is Judaism a religion?” After a brief survey of the Jewish community in pre-modern times, we will proceed with an examination of the influence of the Enlightenment and other intellectual and political developments of the late 18th and 19th centuries, such as citizenship, nationalism, and the scientific study of religion that contributed to the rise of the Hassidic, Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox, and Zionist movements. In the 20th century, the Shoah (Holocaust) and the establishment of the State of Israel led to a seismic restructuring of the Jewish world in terms of self-identity, geography, and power. This coincided with the growing impact of post-modernism and other influences including feminism, gender studies, and intersectionality, all of which, in turn are generating new models of Jewish identity, community, and practice.

Methodology: This course will consist of a combination of lecture and the study of primary sources. The course will be conducted in English.

Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on class participation, two short written reflections, and a research paper.


  • Semestre: 2° Semestre
  • ECTS: 3



Lesson schedule/Room

Semester Day From To Room Floor Building Notes
2° Semestre Mercoledì 8.30 9.15 TBD 0 dal 3 al 31 maggio 2024.
2° Semestre Mercoledì 9.30 10.15 TBD 0 dal 3 al 31 maggio 2024.
2° Semestre Mercoledì 10.30 11.15 TBD 0 dal 3 al 31 maggio 2024.
2° Semestre Mercoledì 11.30 12.15 TBD 0 dal 3 al 31 maggio 2024.
2° Semestre Venerdì 10.30 11.15 TBD 0 dal 3 al 31 maggio 2024.
2° Semestre Venerdì 11.30 12.15 TBD 0 dal 3 al 31 maggio 2024.


  • Nicholas de Lange, An Introduction to Judaism, Cambridge University Press, 2009; Michael Brenner, A Short History of the Jews, Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2010; N. R. M De Lange, et al. Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford University Press, 2005; Danny Schiff, Judaism in a Digital Age: An Ancient Tradition Confronts a Transformative Era. Palgrave Macmillan, Springer Nature Switzerland, 2023. Micah Goodman, The Wondering Jew: Israel and the Search for Jewish Identity. New Haven, Yale University Press, 2020.


Date Hours Room Exam From Letter To Letter Note
Jun 3, 2024 . . Homework A Z La data è indicativa, per la consegna dell'elaborato rispettare le scadenze e modalità previste.