Modern Judaism: Aspects of Life and Literature TRS4089

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide students with opportunities to study diverse aspects of modern and contemporary Judaism from a multicultural perspective. Students will survey a wide range of historical and cultural material covering issues such as: migration and belonging; the beginnings of emancipation and reform for Jews in Europe; antisemitism and the Holocaust; Yiddish culture; American Jewish identities; the origins of Zionism and the State of Israel; Jews in Scotland and the UK; and Jewish cultures of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.


1x2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

TRS3021 Modern Judaism: Aspects of Life & Literature Level 3

TRS4027 Modern Judaism: Aspects Of Life And Lit

TRS3035 Modern Judaism Modern Judaism: Aspects of Life and Literature Non Honours




Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

Presentation of 10 minutes - 10%

Book Review (750 words) - 10%

Examination (90 minutes duration) - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ explore works by great Jewish thinkers, writers, and artists of the 20th century to understand how their experiences as Jews influenced their cultural contributions;

■ familiarise students with aspects of modern antisemitism and the history and impact of the Shoah;

■ develop a critical understanding of Zionism and the State of Israel and its place in Jewish culture;

■ focus on the parallel processes of assimilation, identity formation, memory, cultural trauma from the perspective of Jewish practices, cultures, and traditions across the world as well as locally for Jews in Scotland.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ produce a rigorous close analysis of a selection of historical and cultural material and develop an understanding of the relationship of that material to modern Judaism;

■ analyse the historical, political, and ideological aspects of Jewish reform and its effect on Jewish religious practices;

■ offer an account of the conditions leading up to the Holocaust and its effect on both Jewish individuals and Judaism as a culture;

■ evaluate the historical and political aspects of Zionism, Israeli culture, and responses to conflict;

■ present the results of research through in depth written analysis;

■ present ideas orally through seminar presentation.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.