• Length:
    4 Weeks
  • Effort:
    5–10 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Introductory
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

None

About this course

For over two millennia, Jews throughout the entire world have been committed to reading, interpreting, and living their scriptures. But what are the Jewish scriptures? When were they written? And why are they relevant in the 21st century?

This religion course introduces students to the diversity of the ever-expanding Jewish canon and the equally diverse ways of reading it. It will examine how Jews, ancient and modern, drew inspiration and guidance from the traditional texts while simultaneously reinterpreting their contents in light of new circumstances. The religion we call “Judaism” emerges at the nexus of text, interpretation, and lived tradition.

Whether you are a long-time student of the Jewish scriptures or a complete newcomer, this course will give you a new understanding of the fascinating roles that sacred texts have played in the rich history of Judaism.

What you'll learn

  • The diversity of Jews and Judaism
  • Key facts about the primary texts of the Jewish canon
  • The role that scripture has played and continues to play in the lives of Jews
  • Why the sacred texts of Judaism continue to matter in the 21st century

Meet your instructors

Shaye Cohen
Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University

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