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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)Leah Garrett


Previously coded JWC3260


The unit will focus on Jewish literary responses to catastrophe from ancient times to the Holocaust. After considering the historical framework for events including the Destruction of the Temple, the Crusades and the Spanish Exile, students will read the poetry, stories, songs, and prayers that the Jews composed in reaction to the catastrophes. We will consider how the literature of destruction manifested a Jewish religious response to collective trauma, and how the literature became a means of cultural survival for the Jewish people. We will also examine if and how the literature of destruction is artistic.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be expected to have the capacity to:

  1. Analyse the historical contexts of key events that challenged Jewish theological understandings
  2. Understand the cultural meanings of 'destruction' and 'catastrophe' in Jewish writings
  3. Explore the unique meaning of the Holocaust in Jewish thought and it's literary representations
  4. In addition, students at fourth year will have the ability to appreciate the range of literary forms practised by Jews through history.


Written work: 90% (4500 words)
Participation: 10%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Jewish civilisation