Judaic Studies

The concentration in Judaic Studies allows students to learn how several academic disciplines deal with a single subject, the study of Jews and Judaism. The principal disciplines represented in the Program are History, Language (Hebrew, Aramaic), Literature, Religious Studies, and Anthropology. The Program thus joins humanistic and social scientific approaches to learning. The educational goal of the concentration is to show how different scholarly disciplines approach the study of Jews and Judaism in different chronological settings ranging from biblical times to the present. This interdisciplinary approach aspires to two goals: first, it aims to instill in students some substantive understanding of the historical, religious, literary, philosophical, sociological and political experiences of the Jews; second, it demonstrates how scholars of diverse academic disciplines frame questions and answer them, thus providing the student with some understanding of what it means to approach the same subject with different perspectives and methodologies. The concentration requires a year of course work in Hebrew, for the Hebrew language is one of the strands that unifies the history of Judaism from ancient to modern times, and a knowledge of Hebrew is indispensable for any serious study of Judaism.

Required Coursework

Topical courses (non-language courses)

Language Courses

Honors Thesis

A candidate for honors in Judaic Studies will write a thesis in the senior year. In order to be considered a candidate for honors, students will be expected to maintain an outstanding record (at least A-) in Judaic Studies courses. The honors thesis, which fulfills the capstone requirement, will normally be written as a two-semester individual study project (JUDS 1970). At the end of the senior year, the thesis advisor (a faculty member of the Judaic Studies Program), and a second reader, chosen by the thesis advisor in consultation with the student, will evaluate the thesis, and the Judaic Studies faculty will determine if it is worthy of honors in Judaic Studies. Students interested in honors should approach a potential advisor by the spring registration period of their junior year. When taken as preparation of the honors thesis, JUDS 1970 count towards the ten required courses in the concentration.

Further Information

Students who are interested in further information about the concentration should contact the Judaic Studies Office at 163 George Street to make an appointment with the undergraduate concentration advisor. [Tel: 863-3912 or Judaic@brown.edu]


Page last updated in February, 2012.

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