Undergraduate Course: Second Temple Judaism (BIST10037)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course aims to introduce students to Second Temple Judaism by the study of important facets of the Jewish religion from its post-exilic origins (515 BCE) to the beginning of the rabbinic period (200 CE). Alongside an historical study of the period will be religious topics and themes (eg Temple, the Dead Sea Scrolls, messianism, Pharisees) that are particularly important for students of Biblical Studies.
The course is a study of ancient Judaism in the Second Temple period, from the end of the Babylonian exile (ca. 515 BCE) to the beginning of the rabbinic period (ca. 200 CE). The overall approach is basically historical, but because of the nature of the extant evidence, a great deal of attention is given to the interpretation of Jewish literary texts from this period. In any given semester, the course may focus either on a particular set of texts (e.g., histories, apocalypses, Greek Jewish texts) or on a particular theme (e.g., temple, law, messianism). The primary focus of the course is the Second Temple Jewish texts themselves, but other relevant ancient texts and also modern critical treatments will be brought in where relevant.
The course will focus on one or more Jewish texts from the Second Temple period, including late-biblical books like Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel, other apocalypses like the Book of the Watchers, 4 Ezra, and 2 Baruch, novellas like Tobit, Judith, and Joseph and Aseneth, wisdom texts like Ben Sira and Wisdom of Solomon, legal texts like 4QMMT and the Mishnah, histories like 1-2 Maccabees and Josephus¿s Antiquities, and more. Other ancient sources on Jews and Judaism (e.g., Greek and Roman historians, geographers, satirists, material and documentary remains) will also be consulted where relevant. Select readings from key modern critics will be assigned relative to the particular letter or theme for that semester.
Student Learning Experience Information:
The course meets once each week for a two-hour block, with a schedule of readings to be carried out before each meeting. The normal pattern will be that, in any given week, one hour is devoted to interactive lecture, the other hour to seminar-style discussion of primary texts. Student numbers permitting, over the course of the semester each student will give one short presentation on one of the texts for his or her assigned day. Through participation in lecture and seminar discussions, as well as through the written work and the examination included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Permission of the Course Manager.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Revision Session Hours 1,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||10% seminar participation;
30% 2000 word essay;
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of critical issues in the study of Second Temple Judaism
- Articulate independent, well-reasoned positions on these interpretive issues
- Criticise important secondary literature on Second Temple Judaism
- Undertake independent exegetical research on ancient Jewish texts
- Present the results of research in coherent, structured written form
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Independence of mind and initiative
- Ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
- Analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
- Ability to engage critically with the meaning of documents and recognise that meanings may be multiple
|Course organiser||Dr Matthew Novenson
Tel: (0131 6)50 8942
|Course secretary||Miss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227