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Graduate Program


Graduate Program

Course Offerings


Graduate Spring 2011 Courses of Interest


RLHB 790R Temples and Priests in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism
RLHT 736 Law Governing Genocide: The Case of the Holocaust: A Seminar

RLL 701B Akkadian



RLHB 790R: Temples and Priests in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism
Gilders , Time: Tu 1:00-4:00

Content: This course explores “cult places” (shrines and temples) and their specialist personnel (priests and other functionaries) in ancient Israel and early Judaism (up to the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism).  Attention will be given to both textual and material evidence related to cult places and priesthoods.  A particular focus of the course will be on the larger cultural contexts in which Israelite and Jewish cult places and priesthoods emerged and functioned.  Some examples of topics to be explored: ideologies of temple-space in the Ancient Near East; priestly “houses” and rival claims to priestly status; the Tabernacle in Exodus and Leviticus; Solomon’s Jerusalem temple; ideas about a heavenly temple; rivals and alternatives to the Jerusalem temple (Samaritan, Elephantine; Leontopolis); early Christian attitudes toward the Jerusalem temple and its priesthood; rabbinic images and “memories” of the Second Temple.

Particulars: The course will be conducted as a seminar, with students leading sessions.  The course grade will be based on seminar participation and a substantial “research report.”

Texts: All students will need a copy of the Hebrew Bible.  Most secondary readings will be available through reserves collections.  One book is recommended for purchase:

Menahem Haran, Temples and Temple Service in Ancient Israel (Eisenbrauns, 1985/1995)



RLHT 736: Law Governing Genocide: The Case of the Holocaust: A Seminar
Lipstadt and Broyde, Time: W 2:00-5:00 p.m. (Note: the first session of the class is 1/12 and the final one is 4/15.  That’s one week early in order to fit the Law School calendar.)

Content:  This course will focus on the law of genocide and crimes against humanity from both a legal and a historical perspective using the Holocaust as one paradigmatic example.  Special attention will be given to the Nuremberg Tribunals and the Eichmann Trial in order to determine how they helped shaped/influence subsequent genocide related trials.   Students will be expected to write papers on the law of genocide within the context of the Holocaust or on the law of genocide within the context of other examples including not but limited to: Rwanda tribunals, Cambodian trials, former Yugoslavia, and South African Truth and Reconciliation.          

Particulars: Enrollment: 24 students from the Law School and Laney Graduate School.  In addition  Emory College undergrads and students from other schools, e.g. Candler Theology and Goizetta, will be permitted to enroll by permission of the instructors]

Grading Policies: Each Student will be graded based on the scale of his base academic institution. 

Class Requirements:
Regular attendance, coming to class prepared to actively participate in meaningful discussion. Failure to regularly attend and actively participate will result in a penalty.
Class presentation of approximately 30 minutes.  The presentation will be based on each student’s research paper.  Students will assign readings to the class prior to their presentation.  [If two students are doing similar topics they can to present jointly.  The papers are to be prepared individually.]  25% of class grade
Research paper of approximately 25 pages.  75% of class grade.

Topics to be covered in class:
Status of Law of Genocide pre WWI: what was picture in 1939? How did international law function?  How did Raphael Lemkin manage to get law passed?  
What were the key insights of the Nuremberg Trial generally?  What changed as a result of Nuremberg and why is it important?
Who was systematically murdered?  What were the differences in treatment of the following groups: Jews, Gypsies, Handicapped, gays, political dissidents
How does Nuremberg deal with the persecution of each of these groups?  Does it see them as being treated the same?  Does it differentiate?  If so, how?
How is Eichmann trial the same/different from Nuremberg:
Kidnapping issue
Victims’ testimony [particularly of victims who have no direct connection to Eichmann]
1st hand proof of crimes vs. specific role of defendant in connection to these crimes.
Show trial? Not a show trail in classical Soviet system but show trial in sense that witnesses brought forth to provide highly prejudicial testimony
Auschwitz trial: 1963
A Reversal of Positions: David Irving v. Penguin UK and Deborah Lipstadt
Nuremberg’s Successors:
A Reversal of Positions: David Irving v. Penguin UK and Deborah Lipstadt
Dumjanjuk v. the United States
Mai Lai
Rwanda tribunals
Former Yugoslavia
Truth and Reconciliation/Botha testimony


RLL 701B: Akkadian
Wright, Time: Mon 2:30-4:00


Content: The course is a basic study of the Akkadian language spanning two semesters.  At the conclusion of the second semester, students will be able to read transliterated literary texts in Standard Babylonian with the help of a dictionary.  By way of background, the students will encounter the basic principles of Sumerian grammar.  Students will also be equipped to navigate peripheral dialects of Akkadian.


Particulars: Students will demonstrate aptitude through regular in-class and take-home quizzes as well as a comprehensive final exam.  Prior work with another Semitic language, particularly Classical Hebrew, is required.

Black, George, and Postgate, A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian
Huehnergard, A Grammar of Akkadian
Huehnergard, A Key to a Grammar of Akkadian
Miller and Ship, An Akkadian Handbook


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Last updated: March 1, 2011



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