HIST490 - Transformation of Jewish Culture in Early Modern Europe

Description: 
This course attempts to define and describe a distinct era in Jewish cultural and social history roughly between 1500-1800. Early modernity for Jews represents more than a transition from the Middle Ages to Modernity and needs to be viewed as a critical stage in the formation of Jewish civilization. The course focuses on five markers of the period: enhanced mobility of communities and individuals; communal cohesiveness and laicization; a knowledge explosion engendered by the printing press and the University; a crisis of authority precipitated by radical messianism; and the blurring of religious, social, and cultural boundaries, especially between Jews and Christians. The course looks at these trends by studying comparatively the Jewish communities of Italy, the western Sephardim, the Germanic communities, and those of Poland-Lithuania and the Ottoman Empire. This semester we will take advantage of the many scholars of early modern Jewish history now visiting the Katz Center by inviting some to meet with the class and offer their special perspectives on the themes of the course.
Instructors: 
RUDERMAN, DAVID
Day and Time: 
T 0300PM-0600PM
Room: 
JAFFE BUILDING B17
Activity: 
SEM
Cross Listings: 
  • JWST490401
  • RELS429401