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Syllabus The Bible in Jewish-German Modernism - 32889
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Last update 05-09-2019
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: German Language & Literature

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Prof. Vivian Liska

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours:

Teaching Staff:
Prof Vivian Liska

Course/Module description:
Biblical references in modernist literary works illustrate literature’s potential to transform ancient forms and conceptions into driving forces of renewal. This renewal concerns both literature and the Bible. Their encounter in modernist texts rarely occurs in a straightforward fashion. While the modernist literary reception of Biblical material occasionally does appear as pious affirmation or outright rejection, more characteristically, it alters, displaces, or distorts the original Scriptures. Not only do these transformations enact modernism’s basic injunction to “make it new,” but they also illuminate its complex relationship to tradition as such. This dynamic is. The course will explore this dynamic in the work of major German-Jewish modernists such as Franz Kafka, Else Lasker-Schüler and Paul Celan.

Course/Module aims:
Knowledge and understanding of the dynamic between tradition and modernity, particularly the Bible and German literature of the 20th century.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Reflect upon and interpret important German-Jewish literary texts in light of the Biblical tradition.

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Interactive seminar form

Course/Module Content:
16 March: Introduction

23 March: Kafka
„Eine kaiserliche Botschaft“/ „An Imperial Message“

30 March: Kafka
Ein anderer Abraham/ An Other Abraham

8 April: Else Lasker-Schüler
Hebrew Ballads/Hebräische Balladen

20 April: Else Lasker-Schüler
The Prophetic Voice

27 April: No class

4 May: The Song of Songs in German Literature

11 May: The Book of Job in German Literature

18 May: Paul Celan: Selected Poetry

25 May: Paul Celan: Selected Poetry

1 June: Else Lasker-Schüler Lecture: Evening Lecture at the Leo Baeck Institute

8 June: Jonathan Sheehan and Ilana Pardes
Bible and Human Rights Conference

15 June: Student presentations

22 June: Student presentations and Closing Discussion

Required Reading:
A reader will be provided before the beginning of the course.

Additional Reading Material:
A bibliographical list of secondary literature will be provided before the beginning of the course.

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 20 %
Participation in Tutorials 20 %
Project work 60 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
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.