Faculty of Arts

print version

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation


Dr Nathan Wolski



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit deals with the social, cultural, political, economic and intellectual interactions of Jews with Christians and Muslims from antiquity through the Middle Ages. In a contemporary world that frames these relations as a 'clash of civilisations,' the course retraces the shifting relationships between the three monotheistic traditions, emphasising Jewish life in the medieval period under Christian and Islamic rule. We will start this course with the foundational texts of the three monotheistic religions, examining how these societies defined themselves and others. Moving to the medieval period we will explore the interactions between Christians, Jews and Muslims-the shared texts, spaces, and intellectual ideas that united all three societies. Even in moments of extreme violence, we see evidence of coexistence alongside conflict.


Students completing this unit will have the ability to:

  1. Trace the way Jews, Christians and Muslims have defined their identities against each other;
  2. Understand the interaction between Jews and Christians in late Antiquity and in medieval Europe;
  3. Understand the interaction between Jews and Muslims following the rise of Islam in the Near East and in the Mahgreb;
  4. Appreciate and assess the significance of "The Golden Age of Spain";
  5. Compare the Jewish experience of Christian and Islamic rule respectively;
  6. Appreciate the intellectual interaction between Jews and Christians and Muslims.


Within semester assessment: 70%
Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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