Faculty of Arts

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitAustralian Centre for Jewish Civilisation
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Constant Mews


Previously coded HYM5260


This unit examines the intellectual interaction between Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the medieval period. Focusing mainly on the late twelfth and thirteenth century, the unit revolves around a central religious fault line of the era- reason and rationalism on the one hand, and the mystical quest on the other - and pursues a comparative analysis of the major figures from each of the traditions. Beginning with the rationalists, the course explores the thought of Ibn Rushd, Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas, before moving to a comparative examination of various mystics, such as - Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, the Zohar, Meister Eckhart, Ibn al-Arabi and Rumi.


On completion of this unit students will be expected to:

  1. have an understanding of the major intellectual currents within Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
  2. have an understanding of the relationship between and mutual influences informing the various traditions
  3. understand the role of classical thinkers and writers on the varied traditions
  4. demonstrate familiarity with the major texts of the key religious figures of the period
  5. appreciate the exegetical horizons facing interpreters of scripture
  6. be able to engage in comparative analysis of philosophers and mystics from the different traditions
  7. have applied the reading and interpretative skills they have learned to unseen texts
  8. identify continuities and ruptures among the thinkers and writers examined.


Research essay (6000 words): 50%; Seminar paper (1000 words): 15%; Take-home exam (2000 words): 25%; Seminar preparation: 10%.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2.5 hour seminar per week