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Jewish Theology | Master

Image: Tobias Barniske

In establishing the discipline of Jewish Theology including a master's degree program at the University of Potsdam, the long-standing demand for equality with Christian and Islamic theologies has been fulfilled. It will form the basis for a vital engagement with Jewish religious history and philosophy, as well as providing scope to develop religious practice.

THE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE
NameJewish Theology
DegreeMaster of Arts
Standard period of study4 semesters
Credit points120
Language of instruction
English and German
Start of study (1st semester)
Summer or winter semester
CampusAm Neuen Palais

Program Content

The subject of the Jewish Theology master's degree program is the in-depth study of Jewish religion. The degree program enables you to understand complex theological, philosophical and ethical ideas in the context of Jewish tradition and current academic and societal debates.

Through the academic program you will acquire excellent knowledge of the history of ancient and medieval Jewish religion and philosophy, as well as of the wide-ranging transformation processes since the mid-16th century. The program places articular emphasis on deeppening one's knowledge of Rabbinic Judaism in Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, periods which have been formative for Judaism in a number of ways up to the present. The analysis, interpretation, and religious history contextualization of the traditional literature and of the Talmudic era (Mishnah, Talmud and Midrashim) as well as the later literature of the Rishonim and Acharonim in its original languages are thus at the core of the program. Other focal areas are the Jewish Enlightenment and the Reform Movement, Eastern European Hasidism, and religious philosophy, as well as the theological and ethical concepts of the 19th and 20th century. The Jewish theology program is based on the current state of research and conveys to the students the necessary specialist knowledge and methodological skills that enable them to independently analyze the texts relevant for Jewish religious history.

Practical theology is also part of the program. Knowledge and understanding of the orders of service is expanded and specific liturgical features of celebrations, fast days and days of remembrance are dealt with. In this way students will gain authentic insights into Judaism today in all its diversity.

 For students with a Jewish religious affiliation, the subject can also be chosen with focus areas of liberal or conservative (Masorti) rabbinates. The academic program with one of these focus areas is associated with admission to the Abraham Geiger College or the Zacharias Frankel College in Potsdam.

You are provided with the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained during your studies, through an internship module. It offers a choice between different internship options, e.g., with a Jewish community or cultural institution, or you could design a tutorial for the bachelor's program, or take part in an academic project.

Course Objective and Future Career Options

In the course of the master's program you will acquire excellent knowledge of the field of Jewish religion, which qualifies you for employment in various places of work. These include, for example, archives and museums with Jewish collections, memorials, Jewish and non-Jewish educational and cultural institutions, institutions that endeavor to maintain the Jewish legacy in Germany and abroad, protection and preservation of historical monuments. In addition, employment in the library sector, and in the media and publications sectors are possible. Moreover, the Master program is a pathway to an academic career opening opportunity to pursue a doctoratal degree.

There are further areas of employment for graduates of the Jewish religious confession in Jewish communities, schools, and other Jewish institutions. These also include positions as a hospital or retirement home chaplain, which need not necessarily be held by persons working in a formal community position. The academic program with rabbinate focus area (liberal and conservative/Masorti) leads, in conjunction with training at the Abraham Geiger College or the Zacharias Frankel College, to the profession of rabbi.

Prerequisites for Master's Studies

Applying for a master's degree generally requires you to hold an undergraduate degree, such as a bachelor's degree, in a subject relevant to Jewish theology. Furthermore, you should have knowledge of the Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

You can read more about the subject-specific admission requirements in the respective Admission Regulations.

Program Structure

In total, the program comprises 120 credit points and covers the content shown in the overview below. It can be studied without a specific focus area as well as with the focal areas of liberal or conservative (Masorti) rabbinate. You decide upon enrolling, as desired, for one of the focus areas offered. The switching of a focus area is possible once during your studies, prior you having acquired 90 credit points. The choice of the focus area rabbinate is only possible after admission to either the Abraham Geiger College or Zacharias Frankel College.

The following overview concisely shows the individual modules and their content for the academic program without a specific focus area. The individual choice of a focus area entails thematic specialization in various areas. You can learn more about these by consulting the Degree Regulations.

COURSE CONTENT AND CREDIT POINTS (CP)

Modules

Credit points

Mandatory Moduls78 CPs

Jewish Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Times and in the Middle Ages

Jewish Religion and Philosophy in the Modern Era

Liturgy

Textual Studies of Rabbinic Literature and Halacha

Practical Theology

Internship

15 CP

15 CP

12 CP

12 CP

  9 CP

15 CP

Elective Fields
One of the following modules is to be selected:
12 CP

Jewish History and Culture

Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Comparison

12 CP

12 CP

Concluding module30 CP
Total120 CP

Contact

School of Jewish Theology

Susann Schober | Departmental Advising

 

Campus Am Neuen Palais | Building 02, Room 2.16

Advantages at a Glance

The master's degree program in Jewish Theology is unique in Europe and builds on the relevant bachelor's degree course at the University of Potsdam. In Addition to dedicated and qualified lecturers from Germany and abroad, there are a number of reasons to study at the University of Potsdam:

Application

Have you decided to study the Master's Program Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam? Then you should take the next step on the application pages to find out more about current application and enrollment procedures.

Contact

School of Jewish Theology

Susann Schober | Departmental Advising

 

Campus Am Neuen Palais | Building 02, Room 2.16

This description is based in part on information from the subject-specific regulations for a master's degree in Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam dated July 10, 2013 (AmBek No. 1/14, p. 2).