702Hist – Contemporary Judaisms

Pay in Full$310.00
Payment Plan  $105.00 / month for 3 months

This Class is 10 weeks long and begins on April 9th.

General Description: This reading-intensive course provides an overview of the main expressions of Jewish faith today, how they came to be, and how they relate with one another and the outside world. Students will engage with the works of several influential Jewish thinkers from the 19th through the 21st century, focusing on critical and often divisive issues such as: the role and nature of Torah, rabbinic authority, the proper place of ‘classical’ Jewish texts, particularism vs. universalism, interfaith dialogue, etc… The class will explore how key Judaic symbols like Messiah, Mitzvot, Exile, and Redemption find definition within the contexts of America, secularism, Zionism, the Shoah, and the State of Israel.

Instructor: Rob Vanhoff


J. Harris, How Do We Know This? Midrash and the Fragmentation of Modern Judaism (State University of New York Press, 1994)

J. B. Soloveitchik, Halakhic Man (The Jewish Publication Society, 1984)

M. Jaffee, Inner-Worldly Monasticism: Towards a Model of Rabbinic-Halakhic Spirituality (Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 2006)

A. Cohen / P. Mendes-Flohr, Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought (Free Press, 1988)

Note: additional readings will be supplied by the instructor.

Instructor: Rob Vanhoff, MA

Course Options: This class can be taken as a standalone class or can be taken as part of a certificate program.

Standalone: See description above

Program Path: This class is required for the three-year certificate program, but does count as 3 quarter hours and can be applied towards elective hours which are required for a two and three-year certificate.

Course Requirements: This class requires the ability to proficiently read the English language, listen to audio lectures, and basic knowledge of a computer with an internet connection.

Workload: The average workload each week is around 6 hours. This includes an hour-long lecture, assigned reading, as well as interaction in the class forum. Three or four response papers are also assigned.