Foto: Matthias Friel
This seminar will examine the history of Judaism in Eastern Europe in early modern and modern era. We will focus on understanding how Jewish religion has been evolving between seventeenth and twentieth century. The focus will be placed on the development of the Chassidic movement, the opposition it evoked among orthodox Jews (misnagdim), on the Haskalah in Galicia and Russia and the broader link between religion, state and nationalism. We will analyze the situation of women in religious Jewish context and will speak on how religion has been shaping Jewish-Christian relations. Another focus area will form the secularization and Jewish-religious reactions to challenges posed by the advance of new Jewish identifications and by acculturation. During the course students will familiarize with the thought of central figures of Jewish religious life in Eastern Europe in 17-20 century including Gaon of Vilna, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady or Ozjasz Thon.
Literature: Yosef Salmon, Do Not Provoke Providence. Orthodoxy in the Grip of Nationalism, 2013; Marcin Wodzinski, Studying Hasidism: Sources, Methods, Perspectives, 2019; Marcin Wodzinski, Hasidism. A New History, 2018; Marcin Wodzinski, Haskalah and Hasidism in the Kingdom of Poland: History of a Conflict, 2005; Allan Nadler, The Faith of the Mithnagdim. Rabbinic Responses to Hasidic Rapture, 1999; Israel Bartal, The Jews of Eastern Europe, 1772-1881, 2005
Grading and participation criteria: active participation (at least 75%; presentation and shor essay (3 pages)
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