1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Notification of Changes
  14. Custom Sections
  15. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  16. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  17. Severe Weather Protocol
  18. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  19. Religious Observances
  20. UAct Statement

Philosophies Of Judaism

REL 238-001Fall 2017 | 3 Credit Hours


Dr. Steve Jacobs

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:


UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prereqs found

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

Survey of major philosophical formulations of the nature and role of Jews and Judaism, written by select Jewish thinkers.

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:

Course Objectives

(1) The primary objective of this course is to introduce students to both Judaic philosophers, largely unknown, and Jewish philosophical ideas, equally largely unknown to the vast majority of Western thinkers.

(2) Secondarily, it is to integrate their thinking into the vast corpus of Western ideas and realize how these Judaic ideas provided a foundation for much of that same thought.

Student Learning Outcomes

(1) Students will be able to summarize orally in class discussion through individual presentations at least five (5) of the major ideas which constitute the corpus of the Jewish philosophical tradition and its interaction with Jewish religious thought. {Philosophical Summaries}

(2) Students will be able to summarize orally in class discussion through individual presentations at least five (5) major Jewish philosophers among the list provided in class. {Philosopher Summaries}

(3) Students will submit a well-crafted Response paper (3-5 pages) to Kenneth Seeskin's text Thinking About the Torah.

(4) Students will summarize their overall learning in response to the Essay-Questions provided in the take-home Final Exam.

Other Course Materials

Additional handouts, if appropriate, will be distributed by the instructor.

Outline of Topics

(1) Introducing Jewish Philosophy.

(2) Introducing Jewish Philosophers.

(3) Summing Up: Jewish Philosophy in the Present and Future.

Exams and Assignments

(1) Oral Presentations on five (5) Jewish philosophical ideas.

(2) Oral Presentations on five (5) Jewish philosophers.

(3) Response Paper to Kenneth Seeskin's Thinking About the Torah (3-5 pages, Hard-copy, MS Word, 12-point font, Double-spaced, citations at end.)

(4) Final Exam: 3-5 Essay-type Questions (Hard-copy, MS Word, 12-point font, Double-spaced, citations at end).

Grading Policy

(1) 25% = 5 Jewish philosophical ideas (5 points each)

(2) 25% = 5 Jewish philosophers (5 points each)

(3) 25% = Response Paper

(4) 25% = Final Exam

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

Missed exams and missed coursework to be determined in consultation with the instructor.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is required unless otherwise noted on the Calendar of Meetings.

Notification of Changes

The instructor will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, the instructor reserves the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, the instructor will notify students in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for students to adjust to any changes.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Code of Academic Conduct provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The UAct website provides an overview of The University's expectations regarding respect and civility.