Marc B. Shapiro, Ph.D., Director
Judaic Studies is a recognized field of study at universities throughout the world. At a Catholic and Jesuit university Judaic Studies has special significance. In its Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, the Vatican Council declared: “Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus of such magnitude, the sacred Synod wants to foster and recommend a mutual knowledge and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.” The Judeo-Christian tradition has its roots in ancient Judaism, and, crucial for understanding the development of Christianity itself is an understanding of its Judaic roots. It is also important that students at a Jesuit university have opportunities to explore Judaism as a religion with value and legitimacy in its own right, and not merely a precursor to Christianity.
The program is intended to meet the following goals:
- To bring knowledge of Judaism, in its various facets, to the student.
- To develop in the student habits of clear, critical thinking within the framework of the accepted norms of scholarship.
- To introduce the student to reading critically the great works of Judaism.
- To foster Jewish-Christian dialogue in the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II.
Judaic Studies courses range from those in biblical literature (with a focus on Judaic elements, such as interpretations of the ancient rabbis and the Dead Sea Scrolls) through Jewish ethics, literature, history, philosophy, and Hebrew language. Courses for the Judaic Studies Concentration are drawn from a variety of departments, and all of these courses may be used for general-education requirements. A number of them also satisfy the cultural diversity requirement. The concentration consists of 18 credits as outlined below.