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Fall 2021
Nov 27, 2021
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JCIV 187 - Jerusalem: City and Symbol
This course will examine Jerusalem through three pairs of multiple lenses that offer a plethora of interesting questions with richly-contoured answers. How, exactly, does the city evolve as a focal point in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions? How does each of these traditions connect to Jerusalem over the course of history, spiritually, liturgically, politically, and with words, images, and even melody? We will begin with a discussion of the archaeologically-based understanding of the beginnings Jerusalem and how the archaeological record reflects, refracts, validates, or contradicts the biblical references to the city—from the time of the Hebrew, Abraham, to the time of the Israelite King, Solomon. We will trace the history of the twice-experienced building and destruction of, and exile from and return to Jerusalem—with an emphasis on its primary structures (the Temple and the royal palace and, subsequently, uppercrust tombs), that carry across a more than thousand-year period from David and Solomon (ca 100-930 BCE) to the First Revolt against the Romans (65-70 CE). From that point we will trace the evolving importance of the city, its symbolic structures and/or their remnants to Judaism and Christianity as these two faiths emerge out of a common Hebrew-Israelite-Judaean tradition. How is the importance of the city expressed in liturgy, literature, and visual art as these two contending traditions compete for legitimacy within the pagan Roman world, and how does that change and/or not change in the centuries after Christianity becomes the religion of the Empire by the end of the fourth century? Where, when, why, and how does Jerusalem acquire importance for the Muslim tradition that emerges on the stage of history in the early seventh century? How is that importance expressed in literature and art? How do politics play a role in shaping the city’s skyline in concert with religion and art? How do all three Abrahamic traditions interweave history and legend within the prose, poetry, and diverse visual art forms that they foster over the medieval period? How do these issues and ideas become transformed toward and into the modern era and how does “Jerusalem” as a symbol resonate outward in various directions within particularly the Euro-American world? When does music become part of the artistic expression devoted to the sacred city? As we arrive into the world of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, what elements of continuity and what new issues emerge, informed by the changing Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds? What can one conclude about Jerusalem, given recent political events and artistic expressions, with regard to the present and the future? Also listed as INAF/JCIV 187.
3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture

Jewish Civilization Department

Course Attributes:
Mean Grade is Calculated

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