RESA4216 – Jews and Judaism in Scandinavia

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

Judaism is the earliest of the three Abrahamic faiths and has influenced the beliefs, rituals, and practices of both Christianity and Islam. This course will cover basic beliefs and practices, the Jewish life cycle and holiday cycle, sacred texts, forms of Judaism, the history of Judaism in Europe, current Jewish identity in Scandinavia, and the role of Judaism and religious pluralism in the modern state of Israel. It will include three mandatory field trips: one to Det Mosaiske Trosamfund synagogue in Oslo, one to the Jewish Museum in Oslo, one to the HL Senter for studier av Holocaust og livssynsminoriteter in Bygdøy.

Learning outcome

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  • describe the basic tenets of Judaism and its life cycle and holiday cycle in each of its branches.
  • compare and contrast elements of Jewish belief and practices with those in

Christianity and Islam, assuming knowledge of the latter two.

  • discuss the history of Judaism in Scandinavia.
  • reflect over the role of Judaism and other religions in the modern state of Israel.

Skill outcomes

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  • reflect critically over the impact of religion in society.
  • Write cogent essays in English in which arguments are supported by evidence and footnotes are used consistently when interacting with the ideas of others.
  • take initiative and responsibility for student-centered learning and independent research.

Professional development

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  • Respect the views of others while putting forward one’s own views.
  • See how a set of beliefs and worldview not shared personally function together as a different but coherent system.
  • Demonstrate good time management skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work independently.



Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


This class is a group seminar centered on active student participation. Students need to do the assigned reading for a given seminar before class and be prepared to draw on its content during seminar discussion.


Mandatory requirements:

Students must attend 80% of the seminars (10 of 13 classes) and all three field trips.

Students with an unsatisfactory attendance record will be expected to complete a 2,000-word assignment approved by the teacher for each class missed beyond the required 10 in order to pass this course. An attendance of less than 50% of the classes will result in a failure of the course.



In lieu of an exam, students will produce a research paper between 3,500-4,000 words in length (10% overrun allowed), including footnotes but excluding the title page and the bibliography. It is to be double-spaced, include a word-count on the title page, and is to use Harvard or Chicago footnote and bibliographic conventions. Both can be downloaded from the UiO library website. The paper is to be on a topic of free choice but one that has been discussed and preapproved with the course instructor to ensure it is a viable topic.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The portfolio must be submitted in English. All class communication, written or oral, will also be done in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Autumn 2017
Autumn 2017
Teaching language