JUD5110EN - History of Jewish Culture

Course description

Explore, consider, analyze and assess the Hebrew origins of Western civilization and the influences and contributions of Jewish Culture across time and place towards Western Civilization and modernity. Although the study of Western Civilization often traces the Greek and Roman influences through the Middle Ages and into modernity, this class follows the Hebrew religious, literary and intellectual tradition and impact on the development of some of Western civilization’s most important concepts, social institutions and values along with the methodological approaches used to study them. Particular emphasis will be given to the interactions, positive and otherwise, between Christian and Jewish communities.

How this course benefits students

The history of western civilization traces its roots to the ethics, morality, religious and philosophical thought of Jewish culture. Christianity and Islam owe much of their origins to Judaism. In this course students will acquire an overview of Jewish culture so that particular functions and facets of Judaism can be historicized and contextualized descriptively and explained in light of God’s gracious activities among God’s people throughout history.

Why this course is important

This course provides a historical overview of Jewish culture so that students may have an informed voice in the marketplace of ideas at which the Gospel may be effectively proclaimed.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Judaic Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The history of Jewish culture begins with the Israelite religion, found in the Biblical literature of the Hebrew bible, then proceeds to explore the development of Rabbinic Judaism and its texts that are comprised largely of biblical interpretations and expansions as well as ethical/moral teachings based on the Bible.

Missionally driven

The history of Jewish culture is largely a history of its encounters with Christianity in the Diaspora, and we will evaluate the positive and negative ways that Christ’s followers represented the Gospel among the followers of Moses.

Contextually informed

Our increasingly globalized and pluralistic missional setting may include interactions within Jewish communities that value and take pride in their own history and contributions to the world of ideas.

Interculturally focused

Students will articulate a model for cross-cultural and intercultural engagement with their own local Jewish community that is informed by the history of Jewish culture.

Practically minded

Evangelical Christianity is often seen as intolerant towards and ignorant of contrary and competing ways of being, therefore the application of one’s respect for and knowledge about Jewish culture should open doors of opportunity for building relationships of trust and mutuality wherein the Gospel can be presented.

Experientially transformed

This course seeks to inspire and facilitate a transformational experience made possible when, by God’s grace, ignorance gives way to knowledge and faithful exploration to understanding while the Gospel is proclaimed and received unto salvation.