The History of the Jews ~ Thursdays, JUL 7 to SEP 1 at 7:00PM

$315.00

Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., in person and via live video stream with interactive Q&A.

Tuition: $315.  YOU MAY CHOOSE THE VIDEO STREAM OR IN-CLASSROOM ATTENDANCE. FOR THE VIDEO STREAM, ONLY ONE TUITION PER HOUSEHOLD IS NECESSARY.  CLASSROOM TUITION IS $315 PER PERSON. (PLEASE NOTE THAT CLASSROOM SEATING IS LIMITED.)

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Is it possible to survey more than three thousand years of Jewish history and literature in nine weeks? The challenge is daunting, but we can at least explore some of the principal questions that have informed the study of Jewish history and culture since the nineteenth century: Who are the Jews? What were their origins in the ancient world?  What is now known about the genesis of the anthology of writings that has come to be known as the Hebrew Bible?  What are the origins of the Jewish diaspora, and how did Jews manage to maintain their identity and cohesion as a people without a land of their own over so many centuries? What kinds of adaptations have they made to the cultures of the many countries they have inhabited? Why has hostility directed against Jews been so persistent, and how has what we now call anti-Semitism mutated over time?  What roles have Jewish women played in Jewish communities and cultures?  And how and why did Jews come to play vanguard roles in the processes of modernization and globalization over the course of the modern era?

Suggested Reading:  MIchael Brenner, A Short History of the Jews (Princeton University Press, 2010). This book has 20 short chapters, so by reading two chapters per week (about 35 pages), students can get an excellent overview of 3,000 years of Jewish history.

Bruce Thompson is a lecturer in the Departments of History and Literature and the Associate Director of Jewish Studies at U.C.-Santa Cruz, and also teaches at the Institute. He received his Ph.D. in History from Stanford; his areas of scholarly research include European intellectual and cultural history, French history, British Isles history, American Jewish intellectual and cultural history, the history of cinema, and the history of espionage.

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