This course is a sweeping overview of Jewish civilization, from its ancient Near Eastern roots to its various expressions in the contemporary world. We will focus on developments within Jewish religious culture and political and social organization that united the Jewish people historically. At the same time, we will pay close attention to the diversity of expression of the Jewish people that reflects regional and gender differences, rational and mystical modes of expression, dissent and sectarian developments. The Introduction to Jewish Civilization is taught by an interdisciplinary team: the primary instructor provides the general framework in introductory lectures for each unit and U-M specialists in Judaic Studies offer guest lectures on a range of topics pertaining to Jewish history, religion, and culture. Discussion sessions provide the opportunity for direct contact with primary sources and for conversation. No prerequisites. Grades are based on attendance and participation in section, a midterm, a final, and a creative project.