History of Judaism

Laura Lieber, convener

The Ph.D. program in Judaic Studies prepares students for academic careers in teaching and research.

The program offers two tracks:

   1. Late Biblical / Post-Biblical Judaism

   2. Rabbinic-Medieval Judaism.

Among the fields specifying these tracks are: Archaeology of Roman Palestine; Second Commonwealth Studies; Rabbinic/Talmudic literature; Hellenistic Judaism; and Medieval Jewish History, Philosophy, and Mysticism.
Also see Jewish Studies.

Core Faculty

Kal Bland, emeritus

Shalom Goldman

Laura Lieber, convener

Carol Meyers

Eric Meyers

Mel Peters

Requirements for the Major

Languages

Demonstration by exam and course-work of superior reading fluency in biblical, rabbinic, and modern Hebrew.

  1. Demonstration by exam or course-work of reading fluency in Aramaic or Syriac
  2. For students concentrating in Late Antiquity, demonstration of reading fluency by two semesters of advanced course-work in New Testament or Classical Greek For students concentrating in the Medieval period, demonstration of reading fluency by two semesters of advanced course-work in either Latin or Arabic
  3. Demonstration by exam of reading competency in German and either French or a substitute modern European language

Course Load and Requirements

Students will take four courses per semester for a minimum of two academic years and demonstrate their various language competencies before sitting for Preliminary Exams.

Internal Minor

Choosing another field within the Graduate Program in Religion, students must take a minimum of two courses or fulfill the requirements specified for Minors by that Field.

External Minor

Choosing another department or program within the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, students must take a minimum of two courses relevant to their specialization. It is expected that the instructor of one of these courses will administer the Preliminary Exam in the External Minor and serve on the dissertation committee.

Preliminary Exams

There are one oral and four written components. The written components are:

  a. Comprehensive

  b.  Internal Minor

  c.  External Minor

  d.  Dissertation Area

For students concentrating in Late Antiquity, the Comprehensive Exam will cover the history of Jewish civilization from the Persian Period until the Arab conquest of Palestine. For students concentrating in the Medieval period, the Comprehensive Exam will cover the history of Jewish civilization from the Maccabees until the expulsion from Spain in 1492. The oral component reviews all four of the written exams.

Dissertation

After successful completion of Preliminary Exams, a Doctoral Committee will be formed that will

a.  guide the student in submitting an acceptable dissertation proposal to the Committee on Doctoral Committees

b.  supervise the writing of the dissertation

c.  conduct the final oral defense of the dissertation.

Requirements for a Minor

To complement related fields of academic pursuit, all Minors must pass a minimum of two courses relevant to the student's program, chosen in consultation with the faculty member, and a Preliminary Exam based on a bibliography developed in consultation with a faculty member affiliated with the Field of Judaic Studies.  Students are particularly encouraged to select Religion 220 or 221 as one of their two courses.