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Syllabus The Pedagogy of Teaching Religions - 34600
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Last update 02-10-2019
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 1st degree (Bachelor)

Responsible Department: Education

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr Michael Gillis

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: Mon 10.00-11.00

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Michael Gillis

Course/Module description:
The course examines some of the central issues that arise with respect to teaching religions with a particular focus on these issues in the context of Jewish education. The course will begin with a look at the relationship between Judaism and other faiths through dialogue. We will then look at some of the modern challenges to traditional faith-based approaches to religious education; secularism and pluralism in particular. The course will consider some of the approaches to teaching for understanding religion and religious understanding in different educational systems. The next part of the course will be concerned with the studying the complex cases of Jesus and Abraham as potential bridging figures between faiths as well as the educational significance of changes in Christian attitudes to Judaism since the Second World War. For Jewish education, learning about other religions is necessary for a complete Jewish self-understanding resulting from a complex history of with Christians and Muslims with that includes aspects of mutual influence as well as persecution and conflict. The course will look at how learning about Islam is an interesting test case for this perspective. The course includes two field visits outside the normal course hours.

Course/Module aims:
The course aims to provide students with a grasp of the central issues of the field. It seeks to cultivate a depth of understanding of the meaning of other religious traditions and their relationship with Jews and Judaism. It will provide conceptual tools that can serve educational practice in religious education.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Course outcomes are that participants will be able to:
• Participate in an informed manner in discussion on the relationship between Judaism and other religious traditions.
• Reflect deeply on the educational challenges of teaching about other religions in Jewish education.
• To develop their own educational approach to the issues raised in the course.

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: The sessions of the course combine discussion of substantial reading assignments as well as some lecturing. The course will also require occasional participation in course forums on the course website.

Course/Module Content:
1.Other Religions in Jewish Education
3.Modern challenges to traditional religious education: secularism; multiculturalism and pluralism
4.Pedagogies of Religious Education
5.RE in the United States Public Schools
6.Jesus as bridging figure
7.Abraham as a Bridging Figure
8.Modern Changes in the Church’s Relationship to Judaism
9.Teaching Islam and Judaism

Required Reading:
Ephraim Elimelech Urbach from “The religious ideal in Judaism” from “On Judaism and Education” (Hebrew) Jerusalem 1967

Abraham Joshua Heschel, “No Religion is an Island” in Jewish Perspectives on Christianity edited Fritz Rothschild, New York 1990
Joseph B. Soloveitchik, "Confrontation" Tradition 6:1 1964 pages 5-29
Alan Brill, Judaism and Other Religions: Models of Understanding, New York, 2010 pp. 15-30, 129-149.
Will Kymlica, Multicultural states and intercultural
Citizens, Theory and Research in Education, vol 1(2) 147–169 (2003)
Peter Berger,;wMc4Jip2Smo
Rodney Stark Source: Sociology of Religion, Vol. 60, No. 3, (Autumn, 1999), pp. 249-273
Robert Jackson, Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality,London, 2004, pp. 4-21

Liam Gearon, “MasterClass in Religious Education: transmitting teaching and learning”, London, 2013, pp. 104 -143

John Hull Religion in the Service of the Child, in Michael Grimmit ed., Pedagogies of Religious Education, Great Wakering, 2000, 112-129

Robert Jackson, Signposts - Policy and practice for teaching about religions and non-religious world views in intercultural education, Council of Europe 2014, pp. 21-26, 33-46
Nel Noddings, Educating for Intelligent Belief or Unbelief,, New York, 1993, 115-144.
Diane Moore “How to Teach About Religion in the Schools” in Overcoming Religious Illiteracy, New York 2007, pp.53-88Paula Fredriksen, "What You See is What You Get: Context and Content in Current Research on the Historical Jesus", Theology Today
Amy Jill Levine, The Misunderstood Jew, New York, 2006 pp. 17-52
Jon Levenson, Abraham Among Jews Christians and Muslims: Monotheism
Exegesis, and Religious Diversity, ARC, The Journal of the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill, 26, 1998, 5-29;PQHE9Fuo0zQ

Bruce Feiler,;sEFi-KzVRd8

Nostra Aetate
The Catholic Church and the Jewish people : recent reflections from Rome / edited by Philip A. Cunningham et al.
New York : Fordham University Press, 2007
Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church,
Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians And Christianity

Jon Levenson, How Not to Conduct Jewish Christian Dialogue, Commentary, December 2001, pp. 31-37.
Jewish-Christian Dialogue: Jon Levenson and His Critics, Readers’ Letters, Commentary April 2002, pp. 8-21

Annemarie Schimmel, Islam: An Introduction, Albany, 1992, pp.29-58
Malise Ruthven, Islam A Very Short Introduction, Oxford 2012 pp.1-26.
Hava Lazarus-Yafeh, “Judaism and Islam: Some Aspects of Mutual Cultural Influences”, in Some Religious Aspects of Islam, Leiden, 1981, pp.72-89
Khalid Duran,
"Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews” New York 2001, pages 99-114
Reuven Firestone, An Introduction to Islam for Jews pp.3-5, 33-42, 235-239.
Reuven Firestone, Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims, Hoboken 2001 pp.44-54, 125-142

Additional Reading Material:

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 10 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 80 %
Reports 10 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.