HIST 23514. Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. 100 Units.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are often treated as autonomous religions, stable and independent of each other. But across the long course of their histories the three religions have developed in interaction with and thinking about each other. This course will explore how, from their beginnings to the present day, the three religions were and continue to be “coproduced”—shaping and reshaping themselves through processes of simultaneous identification and disidentification with their rival “siblings” and neighbors. We will pay special attention to the periods of scriptural formation in each religion, but will also sample moments of coproduction through the Middle Ages and modernity.

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 33514

HIST 23513Augustine, The City of God

We will undertake a close reading of Augustine’s The City of God, with attention to its Late Antique historical, theological and political contexts, as well as to some of the ways in which it was read and the work to which it was put in other times and places.

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg, C. Ando     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 46313, HIST 33513, SCTH 37105



SOSC 21300. Western Mediterranean Civ-1

Admission to the Barcelona study abroad program.

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg    Terms Offered: Winter


SCTH 37103. Love, Law and Exile: The Philosopher and Society in Medieval Islam

Are philosophy and love dangerous for society? Both these areas of Medieval Islamic culture sometimes represented themselves as states of exile or solitude relative to the societies that produced them. The purpose of the course will be to juxtapose these conditions and to explore some of their common concerns: as challenges to normative social conventions, as quests for a recognition founded on an ethics, and as expressions of the desire to provide a self-authorizing account of themselves capable of legitimating their existence in society.

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg, L. Capezzone    Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 45601, NEHC 37103, PLSC 37103

SCTH 37104. Kings, Culture, and the Three Religions of Medieval Spain

This course will approach the artistic, scientific, literary, political and religious projects of the Christian monarchs Alfonso X “the Wise” (King of Castile from 1252-1284) and James “the Conqueror” (King of Aragon from 1213-1276). It will focus on the inter-religious context of these projects, and ask how their cultural dynamics of were shaped by the interaction of the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities living under their rule.

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg    Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 47104, HCHR 42203, HIST 42203, SPAN 37104



ENGL 62610. Shakespeare’s Venetian Others

This course will focus on the Jew and the Moor in Shakespeare. We will work in detail on the language, imagery, plot, themes, and structure of The Merchant of Venice and will also examine its sources and some other texts with which the play is in implicit dialogue, such as the epistles of Paul and the author of Hebrews, and Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta. We will then move to a consideration of Othello. We will introduce some historical materials on usury, on the Mediterranean frontier with Islam, etc., in order to pose questions about the relationship between the representation of Jews and “Moors” in Shakespeare’s Venetian plays and what historians (think they) know about the historical situation. We may also undertake some comparative gestures, considering Merchant in relation to Marx’s “On the Jewish Question,” or Othello in relation to “The Famous Ottoman,” a play written by Shakespeare’s Spanish contemporary, Lope de Vega. An oral report and a substantial final paper will be required.

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg, R. Strier    Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 64802, RLIT 52600, SCTH 50701

SOSC 21400. Western Mediterranean Civ-2

Admission to the Barcelona study abroad program.

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg    Terms Offered: Winter


SCTH 45402. Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Late Medieval Spain

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg    Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 45402, HIJD 45402, HIST 42206, ISLM 45402

SCTH 37101. Love in Late Medieval Spanish Letters: Libro de Buen Amor and Celestina

This course is a close reading of two “masterworks of Spanish literature,” with an emphasis on their place in the evolution of late medieval ideas about love as the basis for inter-subjectivity and community. We pay special attention to the emerging tensions within Christian discourses about love, the effect of mass conversions from Judaism on Castilian literature, and the place of the Celestina in accounts of the rise of “secularism.”

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg, R. Giles    Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27905, REMS 38100, SPAN 28100, SPAN 38100

HIST 75002. Sem: Christian Politics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe 2

Instructor(s): D. Nirenberg, C. Fasolt    Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 56500, SCTH 75002