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Jews and Greeks:
Philosophers, Poets, Playwrights

Jerusalem and Athens are the founding cities of Western civilization. How do they relate to one another? In this seminar course, we will compare the Greek philosophy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and the Greek imagination of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides with the vision and teachings of the Hebrew Bible and its prophets. What did a hero look like to ancient Greeks and to the ancient Hebrews? What role did the city play in the daily life and thought of Athenians and Israelites? How did these two ancient civilizations understand the meaning and idea of sacrifice? Through a careful reading of great Classical and Jewish texts, we will consider and contrast each of these themes—hero, city, and altar—in the Greek and Biblical traditions.