anti-Judaism & anti-Semitism (Syllabus)



Spring 2022

T/Th 12:30-1:50

Shaffer Art Building 121

Zachary Braiterman

office: HL 509

ZOOM office hours: W 11:00-12:00 or by appointment

Examines anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism as a social form, anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic tropes and figures, with an emphasis on history and religion. Topics include social-political domination, racial prejudice, and religious conflict. In addition to and alongside inter-religious polemics, primarily between Christians and Jews, the course examines religious and political forms of Jewish response and resistance to anti-Jewish violence and anti-Semitism in the ancient, medieval, and modern world. Special attention goes to primary anti-Semitic and Jewish source material.


1/25     First Day:  Jews, Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Judaism (no assignment)


1/27     Peter Schäfer, Judeophobia: Attitudes toward the Jews in the Ancient World, chp. 11; Tacitus, The Histories: book 5 at Blackboard (in one file)

2/1       Josephus, Against Apion: book 2:

2/3       Mishnah and Midrash: selections: Jacob Neusner Ancient Israel After Catastrophe; selections from Midrash at Blackboard


2/8       New Testament: Paul, Epistle to the Romans at Blackboard

2/10     New Testament: Gospel of Matthew at Blackboard

2/15     Early Church: Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism, chp. 3

2/17     Jews and Power in Medieval Europe (Crusades): Shalom Spiegel, The Last Trial, especially chapter 9 at Blackboard

2/22     Jews and Power in Medieval Europe (Blood Libel): Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism, chp. 5


2/24     Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism, chp.4; TBA


3/1        Martin Luther, Jews and Their Lies at Blackboard; at Blackboard

3/3       John Locke, “Letter on Tolerance,” George Washington’s Letter to Jews of Newport on two separate files at Blackboard

3/8        Lessing, The Jews at Blackboard

3/10     ZOOM SESSION: Enlightenment: Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism, pp. 300-360

3/22     Civil and Political Emancipation: Marx, “On The Jewish Question” at Blackboard

3/24     Dreyfus Affair, selections from Norman Kleeblatt, The Dreyfus Affair: Art Truth, and Justice at Blackboard

3/29     Jews and Gender and Race: Sander Gilman at Blackboard

3/3`      Protocols of the Elders of Zion at Blackboard (focus on so-called protocols 1-24)


4/5        Zionism: Pinsker, “Autoemancipation,” and TBA at Blackboard

4/7        Holocaust: selections Mein Kampf at Blackboard (In class screening Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew)

4/12     American Anti-Semitism: Leonard Dinnerstein, Antisemitism in America, chps. 7-8 at Blackboard


4/14     ZOOM SESSION Decolonialism: Albert Memmi, Portrait of the Jew, preface,and chps. 2, 5, 11, 14, 17, 18 at Blackboard

4/19     Anti-Zionism: James Loefller, Rooted Cosmopolitans, chps. 9-10 at Blackboard

4/21     Blacks and Jews: James Baldwin, Henry Lewis Gates, bell hooks at Blackboard (on one document)

4/26     Feminism: Letty Cottin Pogrebin, “Anti-Semitism in The Women’s Movement,” Deborah, Golda, and Me, chp.11, and Melanie Kaye-Kantrowitz and Irena Klepfisz, In Gerangl/In Struggle” (on one document at Blackboard)

4/28     Contemporary Christianity: Amy-Jill Levine, The Misunderstood Jew, chp. 5 at Blackboard

5/3        Nazis, Jews, and Whiteness, TBA

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to anti-Judaism & anti-Semitism (Syllabus)

  1. dmf says:

    be interested in yer take on the “new” testament bits
    in the here and now

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