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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Jews and Christians on the Bible

This course will examine the Bible and its interpretation and how it has affected Jewish-Christian relations through history.


We will look at the development of the two religions in the first few centuries, when the Bible played a central role in the debate between Jews and early Christians. This will follow with study of how the conflict over interpretation has continued or discontinued over the ages. An assessment will be made as to how the Bible has been used by both Jews and Christians to create a negative picture of each other and deny the validity of each other's interpretations. We will also explore evidence of positive interaction over the Bible and recent approaches in the modern encounter between Jews and Christians that address texts and ideas that have previously been used to reinforce hostility.

This will be done through examination of the role of the Bible in Jewish-Christian relations from its earliest period, including the New Testament, the work of the rabbis and church fathers, the medieval mystical tradition and the reformation. Then we will move into the contemporary era, dealing with modern interpretation of Scripture and readings of the Bible since the Holocaust. In this way, the course will trace the development of the Jewish-Christian relationship based on the Bible, but, most importantly, examine evidence of positive interaction alongside issues of conflict.


Date: Thursday evenings, starting 2nd February 2012
Time: 7 - 9 pm
Duration: 12 meetings

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