Weekly via Zoom, 16 Mar – 18 May 2022. This course, will tackle complex themes by reading and discussing canonical and lesser-known English Renaissance texts that feature Jewish characters and Jewish questions. Topics that range from medieval literary precedents to Elizabethan theater conventions will be examined, reading excerpts from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, and much more. This class is open to anyone interested in the topic.
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are usually treated as autonomous religions, but in fact across the long course of their histories the three religions have developed in interaction with one another. In Neighboring Faiths, David Nirenberg examines how Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived with and thought about each other during the Middle Ages and what the medieval past can tell us about how they do so today.
This primary source material ranges widely across historical chronicles, poetry, and legal and religious sources, and each is accompanied by a brief introduction placing the text in its historical and cultural setting. Arranged chronologically, the documents are also keyed so as to be accessible to readers interested in specific topics such as urban life, the politics of the royal courts, interfaith relations, or women, marriage, and the family.