Jewish Law (SD 500)
Much like Islam, but unlike Christianity, Judaism has (some would say) a legal system. Initially, the Israelites were a nation and the Bible is a selection of their national literature, some of which includes law. When the people were exiled from the Land of Israel by the Romans, close to two thousand years ago, it was the law that maintained Jewish identity when there was no longer a common land, language, currency, or military. This course explores the scope, development, and philosophy of Jewish law. There is no prior knowledge necessary for success in the course. This seminar will require two papers, the first (8-12 pages) on Judaism and War, emphasizing different philosophies of Jewish law. The second paper (15-20 pages) will allow students to delve into the historical development of a law of their choosing from the Bible to today.
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