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Current Academic Year's Courses

center for christian-jewish learning

FALL 2014

Jewish Liturgy: Its History and Theology
Embedded in rabbinic prayer is a concise statement of Jewish theology. After an examination of the precursors of rabbinic prayer and of the development of the synagogue as an institution, this course will examine the structures and ideas of the prayers themselves as they have been received from the medieval world. This will create a context for a deeper discussion of some key Jewish theological concepts as well as a comparison of Jewish and Christian liturgical traditions. (Ruth Langer)

Religious Quest: Comparative Perspectives
This course explores Judaism and Christianity through their points of apparent contact as well as their differences. The spring semester focuses on the creation narratives of Genesis, studying the two communities; interpretations of the biblical text and how it and its interpretations shape people's lives. It considers such topics as birth and death, marriage and reproductive ethics, ecology, economic justice, and the Sabbath. (Ruth Langer)

Post World War I Spiritual Recovery in Fascism or Personalism
World War I, which broke out a century ago in 1914, inflicted an atrocious wound on Western Culture. Although most of the war's physical destruction has been repaired, its psychic injury still festers. This course examines a corner stone in the spiritual history of the 20th century. We will study two major routes for recovery from the injuries of World War I: Fascism, which advocated permanent struggle as the meaning of life, and Personalism, which embraced intense human encounter as the road to healing. (James Bernauer, S.J.)

Paranoid Causality: On Anti-Judaism & Anti-Jesuitism
This seminar will explore a worldview that attributed to Jews and/or Jesuits a sort of diabolical causality that explained the twists and turns of history. Both were accused of conspiracies and a hostility toward spirit and both were demonized in infamous documents: "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" for Jews and the "Monita secrets" for Jesuits. This course will investigate the construction of negative views of Jews and Jesuits within modern western culture as well as the desire for and the allure of total explanations for history. (James Bernauer, S.J.)