JUS 301 Jewish Civilizations: A Gateway Course | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

JUS 301 Jewish Civilizations: A Gateway Course


Also available as an honors course.

JUS 301 is intended as an introductory survey and as a gateway to more specialized courses in Judaic studies.  The subject of the course is the Jewish people, one of the oldest nations of the world, whose culture has developed both among and within other cultures as a distinct and relatively continuous whole since Antiquity.  Although its content and its precise borders are sometimes difficult to ascertain, “Jewish Civilization” may be defined as the evolving culture—or constellation of related cultures—that the Jews and their Israelite ancestors created and have understood as their collective heritage. 

This course is required for all students declaring a JUS major or minor after July 1, 2009 and strongly recommended for current JUS majors and minors. JUS 301 satisfies the University’s Tier II requirements.

For course syllabus, currently enrolled students go to the D2L website.

Course Syllabus

Course Prerequisites: 

There are no prerequisites for this class.

Course Description: 

Jewish Civilization is the product of diverse causes and contexts.  It has therefore been (and is) manifest in various ways. Like the terms “Jews” and “Judaism,” it has acquired several meanings.  In this course we will explore Jewish Civilization through selected topics that will provide you, the students, with a combination of semi-panoramic and microscopic views of some of those meanings.  Through an examination of those topics, the course will address the questions of how and why Jews and their Israelite forbears created, recreated, and gave expression to their culture(s), and what significance that has had for them and for history.   An overarching goal of the course is that, in the process of exploring these questions, you will develop a disciplined understanding of, and a basic store of knowledge about, Jewish Civilization. 

This course explores aspects of Jewish Civilization, including Jewish religion, ethnicity, history, philosophy, literature and languages. Although this is primarily a history course, in general, it strives to deal with these aspects in an interdisciplinary fashion, rather than as discrete phenomena. The course requires that students develop critical thinking and interpretive approaches to culture and cultural production.

This course is required for JUS majors and minors who are first-year students or sophomores.   It is strongly recommended for Juniors and Seniors who are JUS majors or minors.  It is also strongly recommended for all students who wish to take JUS courses (except Hebrew and internships) at the 300-level and above. Finally, the course also satisfies the University’s Tier II requirements.

The course will consist of lectures and, to a lesser extent, discussions.

Course Objective: 

Required Course Materials: 

Course Requirements: 

Course Grading: 

Course Policies: 


Key Word(s) of the Page: 


Academic Year: 

Course ID and Name: 

Section Number: