Prof. David Biale
27 teaching hours, equivalent to 3 ECTS
David Biale is Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis. He was educated at UC Berkeley, the Hebrew University and UCLA. His most recent books are Hasidism: A New History (with seven co-authors), Gershom Scholem: Master of the Kabbalah (Yale University Press, 2018) and Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought (Princeton University Press, 2015). Earlier books are Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-History, Power and Powerlessness in Jewish History (Shocken, 2010), Eros and the Jews and Blood and Belief: The Circulation of a Symbol Between Jews and Christians (University of California Press, 2007). His books have been translated into eight languages and have won the National Jewish Book Award three times. Professor Biale has served as chair of the Department of History at UC Davis and as Director of the Davis Humanities Institute.
This course surveys Jewish history from its origins to modern times. Over the last 3000 years, the Jewish people have developed a wide variety of different cultures, both adapting and resisting the cultures of their neighbors. At the same time, they also developed a textual tradition of laws, legends, philosophy and mysticism that has united them over their great geographical dispersion. This course will examine the varieties of Jewish culture and the textual tradition that has held them together. Among the cultures considered are the biblical, hellenistic, Judeo-Arabic, Sephardic and Ashkenazic and, in modern times, the Jewish cultures of Western and Eastern Europe, the State of Israel and the United States.