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BOSTON COLLEGE-COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

 

ASPECTS OF JEWISH ETHICS; THE DECALOGUE

 

This is a level three elective course that is structured according to the Jewish interpretations of the Ten Commandmentsóbiblical, rabbinic and modernówith special emphasis on moral cases requiring difficult choices.

 

JEWISH SPIRITUAL PATHS

 

This level three elective course is a critical but straightforward discussion of the many ways, such as study, meditation, good deeds and others, through which seekers can get spiritual enrichment. Though the context is Jewish, the methodology can be applied to any and all religions.

 

THE BIBLE AND THE LITERARY CULTURE

 

Because the Hebrew Bible is part of the ancient Near Eastern cultural continuum, it shares many of its literary genres and social values. It also differs from it in a variety of ways. This course will concentrate on various narrative, legal, wisdom and poetic texts against their background in Egyptians, Babylonian and Hittite literature, and discuss the multi cultural influences that can be detected as examples for the social and religious diversity of our times.

 

BIBLICAL THEOLOGY: GOD, COVENANT AND PROPHECY

 

The Hebrew Bible does not represent a systematic theology but reflects a variety of approaches on subjects such as God, Covenant and Prophecy. This course will focus on the religious and social factors that contributed to the evolution of these concepts through the years up to the early rabbinic period.

 

JEWISH THEOLOGY: FINDING GOD

 

Beyond the dogmatic requirement of divine unity, Jewish theology has allowed great freedom to those seeking to find and understand God. This introductory course will survey various theological viewpoints about God, from the biblical period to the present time, covering such responses as theism, mysticism, religious naturalism and religious humanism.

 

INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM

In this elective we shall study the historical development, the belief system, the main practices as well as the major points of contact between Judaism, Christianity and Islam throughout the centuries.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE

 

This is a survey course dealing with the Hebrew Bible in its ancient Near Eastern context, focusing on historical and religious ideas and on the literary expression of those ideas. Participants are introduced to methods and results of modern critical biblical scholarship, but attention is also paid to the traditions of biblical interpretation in Judaism and Christianity.