In the first year we offer introductory courses in the origins of Ancient Near Eastern, medieval and modern Jewish and Islamic civilizations explored through literature, inscriptions, and archaeological evidence.
- Jewish Origins and the Bible explores the environment of the world of ancient Israel and Judah using both literary and archaeological evidence. Particular attention is paid to the worldviews of the ancient Israelites and their neighbours in the land of Palestine and in Babylonia, Persia, Egypt and the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. The origin of different Jewish groups including the early Christian movement is explored.
- Introduction to Islamic Civilisation introduces history, texts and cultural contexts for the development of Islamic civilization from its origins in the Arabian peninsula to the present. Sources examined include the Qur’an, Islamic art and architecture, and literature of the Middle East.
- Introduction to Jewish Civilization from Antiquity to the Modern Period outlines the major cultural movements in Jewish history from their ancient origins in the Near East through the medieval Muslim and Christian societies up to the modern experience.