Near Eastern Studies

General Near East (Division 439)

204/Rel. 204. Islamic Religion: An Introduction. (3). (HU).

This course is designed to be a well-rounded introduction to Islam in theory and practice, and will deal with the following subjects: fundamental of Islam; principal intellectual pursuits of Muslims, with emphasis on the formative phase; and modern religious developments in the Muslim world. Two exams and a paper. (Mir)

260. Ancient Egypt and its World. (3). (HU).

This course is a freshman-sophomore general introduction to the culture of ancient Egypt. Our purpose will be to acquire an intimate glimpse of the life of the Egyptians and an insight into their thinking. We shall explore topics such as Egyptian religious beliefs, views on the meaning of life and death, ethics and values, notions of racial superiority, attitudes towards other races, immigrants and foreigners, war and peace. Focus will be on the ideas that made Egypt great and at the same time led to its humiliation and decline. The Egyptian experience will be related to our own so that we may come better to understand how and why cultures rise and flourish, decay and disappear. We shall also examine the influence of Egyptian forms and ideas on the cultures and religions of the peoples with whom they came in contact, with special emphasis on the role of Egypt in the birth of monotheism in ancient Israel, the Egyptian background of Moses and Joseph and the contribution of the Egyptians to the religious, ethical and moral thought of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In order to acquire a unique perspective on the world of the Egyptians, the student will be introduced to the rudiments of Egyptian writing and literature, learning to appreciate the special place of literacy in the culture and the profound impact of this on our own modern civilization, whose alphabets (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic) are direct descendants of the Egyptian hieroglyphics. (Baines)

398. Undergraduate Reading Course. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

This course is an independent study reading course which must be supervised by a Near Eastern Studies faculty member. It is normally taken by a student who would like to study some aspect of a subject within a course already taken in further detail. Arrangements for the course are made directly with the faculty member.

446. Modern Near Eastern Literature. (3). (HU).

An introduction to the modern literature of the Arab Lands, Iran, Israel and Turkey. The course is taught by four professors, each of whom will examine the literature in which he/she specializes. Lectures introduce major literary figures and their works within the framework of the historical and social circumstances of their lives. Materials in English translation are reviewed wherever possible and discussions relate particularly to genre development and external influences on the literatures of the modern Near East. (Stewart-Robinson)

467/Jud Stud 467. Topics in the History of Classical Judaism. (3). (Excl).
Section 001.
Whatever else it is (and there are many views on the subject), mysticism has to do with a type of religious life in which individuals seek intimate and personal, direct and intense, experience of the Divine. Mystical religion involves the disciplined cultivation of special forms of ethical, ritual and contemplative piety which go beyond the requirements of less rigorous styles of religious life. While less well known than the literature and history of Talmudic or Rabbinic Judaism, there exists a rich and fascinating Jewish mystical tradition with hundreds of books of diverse kinds. This course examines several major phases and aspects of this tradition, including; a) the Kabbalah of 13th century Spain, focusing upon the seminal work of this period, the Zohar; b) the synthesis of mysticism and Messianism which occurred in the city of Safed (in the Land of Israel) in the 16th century; and c) the massively popular pietistic movement of Eastern Europe in the 18th century forward, Hasidism. This course seeks to raise, among others, the following questions: 1) What are the symbolic and imaginative world views of each of the several mystical movements which we will study? How do we make sense of or interpret these movements? 2) How does each of these phases of the mystical tradition reshape traditional Rabbinic Judaism, both theologically and ritually? 3) What is the relationship of each of these three movements to one another? 4) What does Jewish mysticism, in its several varieties, teach us about the character of mystical religion in general? 5) What relevance might Jewish mystical traditions have for a contemporary spirituality? (Fine)

Section 002 JEWISH LAW AND SOCIETY. The Jewish legal tradition is over 3,000 years old. For the better part of that period, the Jewish people were without a sovereign national existence. While the legal systems of other ancient peoples faded into oblivion following the loss of national life, this was not the case with Jewish law. Rather, it continued to evolve, expand and develop. What are the sources of dynamism and vitality of Jewish law? How is it able to respond and adapt to historical, sociological and technological developments? These and related questions will be explored in this course. Students will be introduced to the concept of the Oral Law and will study selections from the Talmud (Mishna and Gemora), the great repository of these oral traditions and interpretations. The phenomenon of codification will be discussed and selections from the major codes of Jewish law including Maimonides' MISHNEH TORAH and Koro's SHULHAN ARUKH will be analyzed. The critical importance of Responsa (Jewish case law) within the legal system will be stressed and examples of this genre of rabbinic literature will be adduced. As the course progresses, particular topics, such as abortion, will be studied in various sources from the earliest periods to the present. Course requirements include a MIDTERM and FINAL examination, and a 10-15 page research paper. (Glogower)

478/Jud Stud 478. Topics in Modern Judaism. (3). (Excl).

This course will explore the nature of contemporary Judaism by considering a number of critical religious issues and problems confronting Jewry and Judaism. By taking up what appear, at first glance, to be independent and discreet issues, this course seeks to analyze the character and shape of the religious imagination among contemporary Jews. 1) Jewish Feminism and Contemporary Judaism: What is the nature of the challenge which Jewish feminism presents to religious thought, practice, and community? 2) Contemporary Zionism: The debate over the meaning of Zionism continues unabated in our time. What are the competing religious and spiritual views of contemporary Zionists, and what is the relationship of these views to Israel's stormy politics? 3) Issues in American Judaism: What is the state of American Jewish religious life? Is it in a state of renewal and renaissance as some argue, or is it in a state of profound disrepair? What roles do the Holocaust and the State of Israel play in the religious life of American Jewry? The debate over religious pluralism. (Fine)

481/Rel. 481/Engl. 401. The English Bible: Its Literary Aspects and Influences, I. (3). (HU).

See English 401. (Williams)

497. Senior Honors Thesis. Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

The Senior Honors thesis is for students who have been approved by the Near Eastern Studies concentration advisor, honor's advisor, and the LS&A Honor's Council. This course should be taken both terms of the senior year, for not less than three or more than six credits per term. The length of the thesis may vary, but 50-60 pages is common. Two advisors should be chosen. The principal advisor will be a member of the faculty in whose field of expertise the thesis topic lies, and he or she will oversee the student's research and the direction taken by the thesis. The deadline for submission of a draft of the thesis is the end of the week following spring break. The completed thesis must be submitted by the beginning of the exam period. Upon completion of the Honors thesis (and maintenance of a minimum overall grade point average of 3.5), Honors candidates may be recommended by the two advisors and Honors advisor for a degree "with highest Honors," or with "with Honors," in Near Eastern Studies (followed by the area of specialization). A notation is made on the diploma and the transcript.

Ancient and Biblical Studies (ABS: Division 317)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

202. Elementary Biblical Hebrew. ABS 201 or equivalent. (3). (FL).

Continuation of 201. Developing further knowledge of the essential vocabulary and grammatical structures of Biblical Hebrew. (Krahmalkov)

280/Rel. 280. Jesus and the Gospels. (4). (HU).

The course will probe the gospels, including the non-canonical Gospel of the Thomas, as sources to the life and teaching of Jesus. The student will be introduced to the various scholarly methods used in gospel interpretation, in order that he/she will be able to apply these methods to the texts. This exercise will enable the student to appreciate the rich diversity of opinion which existed already in the earliest recoverable periods of incipient Christianity. There is no prerequisite for the course, but some familiarity with the gospels would be helpful. It is anticipated that there will be at least two exams and a term paper. The format of the course will consist of lectures by the instructor and discussions led by TA's. (Fossum)

Arabic (and Berber) Studies (Arabic: Division 321)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

101. Elementary Modern Standard Arabic Through Self-Instruction. Permission of instructor. (2-6). (FL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

Introduction to Modern Standard (Literacy) Arabic. Covers Phonology and basic morphology, syntax and vocabulary. The goal is a reading knowledge of Arabic but there is considerable oral work. The major burden is self-instructional but two hours of class per week with instructor is required of all students. May be taken for two to four hours of credit. Check with Department of Near Eastern Studies b first day of class to attend organizational meeting. (McCarus)

102. Elementary Modern Standard Arabic Through Self-Instruction. Permission of instructor. (2-6). (FL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

Same as 101. (McCarus)

Literature, Civilization, and Advanced Language Courses

416. Syrian Colloquial Arabic. Arabic 415. (3). (Excl).

This is a continuation of Arabic 415. In Arabic 415 the basic principles of pronunciation and grammar are emphasized through oral and pattern practice drills. In Arabic 416 the emphasis shifts to practical use of the dialect based on expanded vocabulary and texts containing more cultural and idiomatic content than the texts taught in the previous term. The course is accompanied by tape recordings of the pronunciation drills, the basic texts, the vocabulary, the conversations and the listening comprehension selections. Regular use of the language laboratory is required to reinforce class work and also to do the assignments which need to be recorded. The course grade is based on classroom performance, assignments, tests and the final examination. Textbooks: Colloquial Levantine Arabic by Ernest McCarus et al. (McCarus)

434. Arabic Historical Linguistics and Dialectology. Arabic 402 and 430 or equivalent, or competence in general linguistics. (2-3). (Excl).

Development of Arabic from Proto-Semitic and Proto-Arabic origins to interrelationships of contemporary literary and dialectual forms of Arabic. Classroom procedure: lecture-discussion. Grade based on class participation, homework problems and term paper. (McCarus)

Hebrew Studies (Hebrew: Division 387)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

202. Elementary Modern Hebrew. Hebrew 201 or equivalent. (5). (FL).

Continuation of the development of basic communication skills of reading, writing and speaking modern standard Hebrew. Class drills, class discussions in Hebrew, language laboratory drills. (Coffin, Staff)

302(402). Intermediate Modern Hebrew. Hebrew 301 or equivalent. (5). (FL).

The focus of instruction will be on the four language skills, with a continued emphasis on oral work and writing. In addition to continued study of morphology and syntax, some reading selections in fiction and non-fiction prose will be introduced. (Coffin)

Literature, Civilization and Advanced Language Courses

305. Hebrew Communicative Skills. Hebrew 302. (2). (Excl).

Continuation of the development of advanced communication skills. The emphasis is on the acquisition of language speaking and listening skills and expansion of vocabulary. (Coffin)

402(502). Advanced Hebrew. Hebrew 401. (3). (HU).

The object of the course is to enhance the student's Hebrew reading and writing skills. In addition, emphasis is placed on expanding the students' vocabulary. (Balaban)

404. Hebrew of the Communications Media. Hebrew 302 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

A continuation of 403. Emphasis on readings, listening and speaking skills. The social genre of the communications media (newspapers, radio and television) will serve as the basis for discussion of current events. Unedited newspaper selections will be read and news broadcasts and television programs will be used in the classroom and in the language laboratory. Grades will be based on two exams and a special project. (Etzion)

462. Contemporary Hebrew Poetry: 1948-Present. Hebrew 402. (3). (HU).

This course surveys modern Hebrew poetry. The emphasis is on the transition from the Palmach Generation to the poets of the 1950's (Amichai, Zach, Avidan and others). (Balaban)

544. Medieval Hebrew Literature. Hebrew 402 or equivalent. (2). (HU).

Reading and discussion of representative masterpieces selected from chronicles, romances, and liturgical and secular poetry. (Schramm)

Iranian Studies (Iranian: Division 398)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

202. Elementary Persian. (4). (FL).

This course is the natural continuation of Elementary Persian 201. The emphasis will be on the use of the language in real-life situations, i.e., conversations and narratives, oral and written, on such topics as language and nationality, family, shopping, emergencies, etc. Oral and written drills and the use of the language laboratory accompany the dialogs and compositions. By the end of the term the student should have acquired an adequate knowledge of all major points of Persian grammar with an active vocabulary of about 1000 items, should be able to read simple texts and to write short passages on simple topics. Grading will be based on attendance, homework, tests and the final examination. Incoming students may join the class pending examination and approval by the instructor. (Windfuhr)

Turkish Studies (Turkish: Division 493)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

202. Elementary Turkish. Turkish 201 or equivalent. (4). (FL).

This course is the sequel to Turkish 201 and is the second half of Elementary Turkish. We will focus on speaking and writing the language of Modern Turkey. Course topics include the phonological structure of Turkish, basic sentence patterns, and basic vocabulary. The aural-oral approach is emphasized and serves as the basic course format. There are tapes which accompany the text, Turkish for Foreigners. Student evaluation is based on written and oral quizzes, and a final examination. (Stewart-Robinson)

402. Intermediate Turkish. Turkish 401 or equivalent. (4). (FL).

Part of the departmental sequence in Modern Turkish. The course is designed for students who have completed Turkish 202 or its equivalent as determined by the instructor. It provides further study of Turkish grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Comprehension and oral and written expression will be developed through translations and compositions. Readings will be emphasized. Special needs of the students as to subject matter will be taken into consideration. Reading material will be provided. Evaluation will be determined on the basis of class quizzes and performance, a midterm and final examination. (Stewart-Robinson)

Literature, Civilization, and Advanced Language Courses

512. Readings in Tanzimat Turkish. Permission of instructor. (2). (HU).

This course is part of the department's language sequence in Ottoman/Turkish program. A recitation/discussion type of course in which Ottoman texts of the 19th century in the Arabic script are read in class, analyzed and discussed from the point of view of language and content. Quizzes, a midterm, and a final examination are required. The texts are specially selected and xeroxed for distribution to the class. (Stewart-Robinson)

551. Modern Turkish Prose Literature. Turkish 402 or permission of instructor. (2). (HU).

Part of sequence in required language courses for majors, M.A. and Ph.D. candidates. The objective is to continue to develop comprehension ease in modern Turkish through the reading of the literary products of modern Turks. Recitation type course includes reading, translation, and discussion of content and style. Quizzes and a final exam are required. The texts are: A. Tietze, Turkish Literary Reader; and specially selected xeroxed material. (Stewart-Robinson)


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