MIDEAST 291 - Humanities Topics in Middle East Studies
Fall 2023, Section 001 - How Religions are Born: The Origins of Judaism and Christianity
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


What makes someone Jewish? What makes someone Christian? Judaism and Christianity are two major religions of great importance today, but how did they emerge to become global phenomena? Together in this course, we will explore how Judaism and Christianity formed within the context of the Ancient Mediterranean world, attending to their points of continuity and their moments of conflict. Surveying the period of history that spans from the Maccabees (2nd century BCE) to the rise of Muhammad (7th century CE), with particular attention to textual, archeological, and material evidence, we will ask: How did Jews and Christians confront social issues like gender, ethnicity, imperial power, and poverty? What aspects of their religious worlds did Jews and Christians share? When does “Judaism” emerge as a religion with a self-defined identity? Likewise, when does “Christianity” emerge as a religion independent from Judaism? How do figures like Jesus, Paul, and Constantine, and their interpretive histories, unify these religions and fortify their separation? Finally, what attitudes did Jews and Christians develop toward one another as they sought to differentiate, and how did those attitudes sometimes translate into harsh rhetoric about the other? No prerequisite.

Intended Audience:

Students who are studying Religion, History, Judaic Studies, or Middle East Studies


MIDEAST 291 - Humanities Topics in Middle East Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
002 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
004 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

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