Daniel Schwartz Courses Spring 2017

Daniel Schwartz, the Herbst Family Professor of Judaic Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Spring 2017 Greenberg Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago will offer the following two courses in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism.

JWSC 20151 From Temple State to People of the Book: On Judeans and Jews in Antiquity  (= HIST 20506, BIBL 30151, HIJD 30151)

A survey of ancient Jewish history from the sixth century BCE to the fourth century CE—from the construction of the Second Temple to the Christianization of the Roman Empire. It will focus on the major dichotomies that were played out in the period, between religion and state, priestly religion and rabbinic religion, nature and law, East and West—processes that eventually issued in the transformation of Judeans into Jews, the rise of Christianity and of rabbinic Judaism, and the shift of the center of Jewish culture from the Greek-speaking West, and from Palestine, to the Aramaic-speaking East. The course will relate to the main historiographical debates that pertain to interpreting the period. It will also strive to introduce students to the relevant historical sources and to the philological-historical methods that can allow us to read the sources, interpret their words and their messages, assess their testimony, and determine what questions they can allow us to answer. Spring. D. Schwartz T/Th 1:30 – 2:50 pm. (Required texts: P. Schäfer, The History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World (London and New York: Routledge, 2003); English language Bible containing Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, and Aprocrypha. (Available at Co-op Bookstore)

HIJD 43100 (= BIBL 43101) History and Narrative in the First and Second Books of Maccabees

The first two Books of Maccabees, composed by Jews in antiquity but preserved only via the Christian canon, in Greek, narrate the events of a critical and formative period of Jewish history in the second century BCE—a period of Hellenization, persecution, rebellion, and state-building. But they reflect very different points of view and ways of life. 1 Maccabees, originally in Hebrew, is a Judean work, the dynastic history of the sovereign Judean rulers of the Hasmonean state. 2 Maccabees, in contrast, is an originally Greek work and reflects the world of Judaism in the Hellenistic Diaspora, subjects of Hellenistic monarchs. In this seminar we will focus on the two books both as evidence for events in Judaea and as evidence for the respective contexts that they reflect. The sessions of the seminar will each be based on close reading of chapters in these two books, aimed at interpreting them in the context of the books as a whole. Spring. D. Schwartz T 9:00 – 11:50 am.