Department of Religion
This course traces the historical developments that led to the establishment and eventual dominance of rabbinic Judaism. The first half of the course will examine the historical and literary context of late Second Temple Judaism and the background of rabbinic Judaism, including the apocryphal writings and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The second half will examine how the rabbis responded to these developments and came to a position of authority within the Jewish world. We will read various rabbinic texts closely (especially the Mishnah and the Rosefta). Among the topics discussed: the rabbis and the synagogue, the rabbis and scriptural interpretation, and the social standing of the rabbis. No prior knowledge is required and all readings are in English (credit not given for this course and 01:563:241).