Study of Religions

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Theme description RELV360

Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe, 1789-1945 (5 ECTS credits, fully online course, restricted to Master students enrolled at UiB) (Course offered spring semester 2022)

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What is modern antisemitism? Is it just another version of the ‘eternal’ hatred of Jews? Or should it be understood only in the context of specific aspects of modern history? And is there perhaps something in the nature of the modern nation-state that, despite the emphasis on individual freedom, including that of religion, is conducive to the hatred of Jews and other religious minorities?

In this course, the students will try to answer these questions by exploring aspects of the position of Jewish minorities and modern antisemitism, namely beliefs and behaviors hostile to Jews because they are "Jews" (as defined by the antisemites), in Western and Central Europe between 1789 and 1945. The course will focus in particular on French history between 1789 and 1848, German history from 1879 to 1945, and Polish history from World War I until 1945. The course shall convey knowledge of perceptions of and behavior towards Jewish minorities in the modern West and compare it to several other political environments.

The course will be fully online, with four modules of one week each, plus half a week of completing the assigned paper.