Jews and Judaism in Antiquity

Subject code


Course Number



C. Baker

Course Long Title

Jews and Judaism in Antiquity

Cross Listed Courses


The millennium between 500 B.C.E. and 500 C.E. saw the gradual invention of a culture that has come to be known as Judaism. This course introduces the significant historical events and texts that were part of this cultural process, as well as the daily practices, institutions, ideologies, and movements associated with it. The approach is both historical and thematic with close reading of archaeological and written sources including texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament (substantially authored by Jews), later Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha, Philo, Josephus, and the early rabbinic corpus. Topics include biblical interpretation; creation, adaptation, and transmission of traditions; identity and self-definition; accommodation and resistance; sectarianism and the invention of Jewish and Christian orthodoxies; theories about messiahs, afterlife, and a world-to-come.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit

No writing credit

INDS Program Relationship

IDCM - CMS Program

GEC This Course Belongs To