Skip to main content


About this major

Jewish Civilisation, Thought and Culture covers history, philosophy, literature, religion, ethics and cultural studies. Explore two millennia of Jewish civilisation focussing on the historical evolution of Judaism, and how Jewish identity has been moulded by key Jewish thinkers and the Jewish historical experience. Trace this journey through periods of continuity as well as radical change, including the seismic shifts that the Jews experience as both sovereign and diaspora peoples.

Gain insight into the rich cultural heritage of a small minority and their significant contributions to broader world culture in both the Christian and later Muslim worlds. This major focuses on three basic periods: the Classical (Talmudic and post-Talmudic periods in Palestine, the Middle East and Asia); the Medieval, with a focus on the key centres which developed first in Spain and later in Poland; and finally the Modern (and contemporary) era, studying emancipation and the challenges of modernity, the Holocaust, Jewish nationalism and statehood.

All units of study are conducted in English and use texts in English. Study of Hebrew is encouraged in conjunction with this major, and a basic knowledge of either Hebrew Classical or Modern, or German is required for honours and postgraduate study.

For more information on the program structure and content including unit of study information, please refer to the Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

This major is offered by Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies.

Graduate opportunities

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers. Examples include:

  • Business and government consultant 
  • Community development officer 
  • Cultural adviser 
  • Cultural manager 
  • Diplomat 
  • Historian 
  • Librarian 
  • Policy analyst 
  • Researcher 
  • Writer
Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.