Prof. Phillip I. Lieberman
15 teaching hours, equivalent to 2 ECTS
Phillip I. Lieberman is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Law, Associate Professor of Classical and Mediterranean Studies, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Affiliated Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and History, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. A social, economic, and legal historian of Jewish life in the medieval period in the lands of Islam, his 2014 book The Business of Identity: Jews, Muslims, and Economic Life in Medieval Egypt (Stanford University Press) was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His current research examines and challenges the received wisdom regarding Jewish urbanization under early Islamic regimes and subsequent migration of Jews from Iraq to the Islamic Mediterranean.
This course will examine the political, economic, social, and cultural experience of the Jews in the medieval period, from the closing of the Talmud in Babylonia in the early sixth century through the composition of the Shulchan Arukh by Joseph Caro in the late sixteenth. Over the course of this millennium of history, we will study the expansion of Jewish life in the Mediterranean diaspora, the flourishing of Jewish life in medieval Iberia, and the rise of Jewish communities in Christian Europe.
For every session, we will discuss primary sources from the area and particular period as well as the secondary literature on the period. Each session covers not only a distinct region and period of Jewish history, but also a distinct genre of primary materials in order to give students exposure to a few of the various genres in which medieval Jews wrote.