JWST 315 Second Temple Judaisms

Starting with the return from Babylonia up until the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 C.E., Judaism was transformed from a local ethnic religious cult to a broad-based, diverse, and often fragmented sectarian religion. Many outside cultures and civilizations, from the ancient Persians to the Imperial Romans, influenced the Jews and Judaism through language, culture, and political contacts. We will study these cultural contracts and conflicts that caused Jews in the Second Commonwealth to develop competing understandings of Judaism.