Religion in

REL 238.001
Philosophies of Judaism

Dr. Steven L. Jacobs

Office: 201 Manly Hall
Office Phone: 348-0473
Office Hour: to be announced
Course: T/Th 9:30-10:45
Location: 207 Manly Hall


About Online Readings

Some course readings are placed in a "secure" folder; you can only access these PDF files (Portable Document Format, that can be opened with the free Adobe Reader) by clicking each link and then entering your Bama User Name and Password. If you have difficulty accessing these readings, contact the instructor by email.

If you have forgotten your Bama ID, but know your Campus Wide ID (CWID), then go here.



This course offers a survey of major philosophical formulations of the unique nature and role of Jews and Judaism by Jewish thinkers such as Judah Halevi, Moses Maimonides, Judah Loew of Prague, Moses Mendelssohn, and Martin Buber."

The orientation of this course is to follow a chronological/historical/ biographical approach in an attempt to answer four seminal questions: (1) What were the issues with which this particular philosopher was concerned? (2) What were his resolutions of those issues? (3) What was their impact and/or relevance, if any, to the Jewish community of his day? And (4) What was/is their impact and/or relevance to the contemporary Jewish weltanshauung ("worldview") and situation, if any, of our own day?


Spring 2012 (PDF)

Books (required)

Frank, Daniel & Oliv Leaman eds.
The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Cambridge Univ. Press

Michael Morgan & Peter Gordon eds.
The Cambridge Companion to Modern Jewish Philosophy
Cambridge Univ. Press

Leora Batnitsky
How Judaism Became a Religion
Princeton Univ. Press

Online Readings

Norbert M. Samuelson "The Death and Revival of Jewish Philosophy" (PDF)

"History Today"

Leon Roth, "Is There a Jewish Philosophy?" (PDF)

Ben Yagoda
"The Seven Deadly Sins of Student Writers" (PDF)