Jewish Studies covers the entire cultural development of the Jewish world from the beginnings to the present day: its manifold historical appearances, its continuities and changes (including its interrelations with other cultures) in different ages and geographical locations in more than 1,000 years of development. Because of the Jewish world’s many linguistic, geographical, historical, religious and social relations, the programme comprises various disciplines – such as history, literature, philosophy and legal history – as is expressed in the Hebrew title “Jewish Studies” (Hebrew University Jerusalem). This explains why the subject is an interdisciplinary subject.
The appropriate scope of the subject ranges from the languages of the Jews – literature in the various languages, religious history and philosophy as well as history, archaeology, art history, music and film, ethnology and sociology.
To ensure that all the above-mentioned dimensions can be studied in the programme, the content focuses on a few key areas, to begin with. As the Jewish world has been heavily influenced up to now by the Rabbinic Judaism of Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, and given that modern Judaism is increasingly connecting with its traditions and values and is seeking to re-adopt these, knowledge of this area is of crucial importance. To enable students to acquire key skills and thereby the preconditions for specialisation, the programme seeks to introduce students to other aspects of the Jewish world. The modern and the contemporary Jewish world form a key point of reference.
In Frankfurt, special focus is placed on different aspects of Rabbinic hermeneutics, different areas of Jewish mysticism, diverse aspects of how Jews understand themselves, their traditions and history, particularly in the conflict areas of historiography and hagiography, factions and literacy, between self-assertion and intercultural “dialogue”. Frankfurt has also been looking to integrate and accentuate gender aspects, which have long been neglected in Jewish Studies generally – not only in German Jewish Studies, into its Jewish Studies programme. The professorship for Jewish religious philosophy (Martin Buber Professorship), which is unique in Germany, the Fritz-Bauer Institute (study and documentation centre for the history and effects of the holocaust) as well as lectures on Jewish-related topics in other subjects, especially in history, offer students many possibilities to appreciate additional interdisciplinary areas.
- Bachelor’s degree or comparable degree in a similar subject
- Good English language skills
- Applicants who do not have a German university entrance qualification, nor do they have a degree from a German higher education institution, are obliged to submit proof of adequate German language skills.
Mode of admission
Admission is not restricted. Students will be directly admitted if the admission requirements are met in full.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated February 26, 2018