This course is taught in the academic year 2009-2010 by prof. dr. Benoit Standaert.
We intend to study Judaism as it understands itself, starting from the views of several Jewish masters over the centuries. We hope to understand the other with whom we have in our roots so much in common, and to grasp his view on our history since our both ways separated from one another. By this mouvement there and back we may learn how to understand ourselve in a different way, and maybe rearticulate our identity and relationship to the Jews in a somehow new way.
No special knowledge.
We study some key-texts from the Mishna, the Midrash and the Talmud, from the Kabbalah and from Hassidic Judaism. We try to get closer to their way of understanding in the Study of the Torah, in the art of prayer and mystical life, and in their ethical practice (solidarity, works of mercy, etc.). Some topics:
- The Three Pillars of the World (Pirqé Avoth 1, 2): a hermeneutical key of self-understanding.
- The Study of the Torah. The four levels of reading the Scripture. The Targum and the Midrash. The first commandment
- The cult: a study of prayer (especially the Amidah) and festivals
- The works of charity
- The inter-testamentary Judaism as necessary mediation between New and First Testament.
- The Kabbalah as spiritual project, in relation to the Christian medieval vision on life
- The messianic Idea over the centuries
- The resurrection as view on death
- Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772-1820)
- Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972)
- Jewish Humour
- Some hermeneutical reflections on the Jewish Christian Dialogue in our time.
We recommand the little dictionary, very useful for the entire course: Penguin Dictionary of Judaism, by Nicolas de Lange, Penguin Refrence Library 2008. See also B. Standaert Sharing sacred space. Interreligious dialogue as spiritual encounter, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2009, translated by William Skudlarek. See Jezusruimte, Lannoo 2000, (third part). The entire first section is on judaism. The bibliography has been adapted to English speaking readers. There will be for each lesson a page with the main line of thought and a bibliography. At the end of each course there will be some questions as propositions to study for the examination at the end of the year.
Articles and literature
Is also included in other courses
The course will address basic questions about the study of Judaism, in historical and hermeneutical perspective, trying each time to see things as some representative Jews formulate them from generation to generation, until today. Major trends in study, prayer and practice will be illustrated. Some key figures will receive a special attention.
The Three Pillars of the World (Pirqé Avoth 1, 2): a hermeneutical key of self-understanding.
The History of Judaism in three major waves and with the six paradigms presented by Hans Küng.
The Study of the Torah. The four levels of reading the Scripture. The Targum and the Midrash. The first commandment
The cult: a study of prayer and festivals
The works of charity
Jesus as a Jew. What kind of Jew was he?
The messianic Idea over the centuries
The resurrection as view on death
Rosenzweigs views on the relationship between Jews, Christians and Moslims
Some hermeneutical reflections on the Jewish Christian Dialogue in our time.
We want to know Judaism as the Jews understand themselves. This is the main goal of the course. But, as we are rooted together with them in a common soil, we may come to a better understanding of what we have together and how we may relate in a better way to one another. To know how they perceive us after twenty centuries may also affect our self-understanding and help us to reformulate our identity in a dialogical perspective.
We recommand: Penguin Dictionary of Judaism, by Nicholas de Lange, Penguin Reference Library 2008.
See also: B. Standaert, Sharing sacred space. Inter-religious dialogue as spiritual encounter, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2009, translated from the French by William Skudlarek. Is in fact the third part of the Jezusruimte, (Lannoo ³2003). There will be for each lesson a page with the main line of thought and a bibliography. At the end of each course there will be some questions as propositions to study for the examination at the end of the year.