The Parting of the Ways between Judaism and Christianity

Overview

Jesus was a Jew: he was circumcised, attended synagogue, wore fringes on his garment. Today Judaism and Christianity are distinct religions, albeit in an unbalanced relationship: Judaism defines itself without any reference to Christianity, whereas Christianity’s self-perception inevitably involves Judaism, precisely because Jesus was Jewish. How did this separation arise? Come and discover the latest scholarship on the complexities of early Jewish-Christian relations.

The traditional assumption, made by both Jews and Christians, is of a parent-child relationship: Judaism came first, and gave birth (unwittingly!) to Christianity. But scholars no longer think in those terms. They see Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity as emerging at the same time, both claiming to be the rightful heirs of biblical Israel, and both reconceptualising divine immanence, given the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. We will explore the diversity in both Jewish and Christian traditions, their shared cultural context in the Graeco-Roman world, and the complex interactions between them as they developed distinct self-identities. We will examine their competing interpretations of scripture. And we will discuss the legacy of this early history for Jewish-Christian relations today.

Programme details

Courses starts: 19 Jan 2023

Week 0:  Course orientation

Week 1:   Judaism, Christianity and Historical Scholarship: Rhetoric and Reality

Week 2:   Second Temple Judaism

Week 3:   Radical New Perspectives on Paul

Week 4:   The Temple in the New Testament

Week 5:   Jewish Responses to the Destruction of the Temple

Week 6:   Prophecy, Allegory, and Typology: Christian Readings of Scripture

Week 7:   Midrash: Jewish Readings of Scripture

Week 8:   Church Fathers, Councils and Creeds

Week 9:   Rabbis, Mishnah and Talmud

Week 10:  Boundaries - Then and Now

Certification

Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Fees

Description Costs
Course Fee £238.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00

Tutor

Dr Ann Conway-Jones

Ann Conway-Jones is an honorary research fellow at The University of Birmingham and visiting scholar at Sarum College, Salisbury.  She specialises in early Jewish and Christian biblical interpretation, combining her scholarship with over 20 years’ experience of teaching adults.

Course aims

To explore the early development of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, as they took their common heritage of Israelite religion and Second Temple Judaism in different directions.

Course Objectives

1. To discover the latest scholarship on the complexities of early Jewish-Christian relations.

2. To examine competing interpretations of the Israelite scriptures.

3. To consider the legacy of this separation process for Jewish-Christian relations today.

Teaching methods

Pre-recorded lectures, guided reading, and online seminars.

Learning outcomes

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

1. appreciate the difficulties of studying early Jewish-Christian relations, given the rhetorical bias of the sources;

2. understand how Jewish and Christian communities competed over their shared inheritance from biblical Israel and Second Temple Judaism;

3. discuss the ramifications of this early history for Jewish-Christian relations today.

Assessment methods

One essay of 1,500 words.  A range of titles will be provided. 

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form

Application

We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

Some prior knowledge of either Judaism or Christianity is desirable.

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)