Nov. 25, 2018

鈥嬧"Reading Religious Conversion"

Course Description


Conversion is a multidimensional phenomenon with religious, social, political and legal implications. By examining these implications, one may learn how religious communities function, how they deal with identity issues, and how and why they demarcate their limits. Conversion can also illustrate the policies and internal structures of such communities, interactions with those deemed as 鈥淥thers", and the dynamics of minority-majority cultural groups living alongside one another. The course strives to afford an analytic structure for understanding political, social, religious and legal issues, communal and religious limits, and the exchange of knowledge.


The course 鈥淩eading Conversion"鈥 exposes the student to a wealth of conversion stories from across the globe and throughout history. The texts explore the complex aspects of religious identities and the varied expressions of community belonging and social borders.


Twenty-seven world-renowned specialists of the Center for Studies of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters (I-Core) in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will guide you through the learning process, providing a broad historical, cultural and religious background for the texts. The experts help you to gain an understanding of the period in which the texts were written, and the events and ideas that the texts influenced.

The course is designed for teachers, graduate students, and, in particular, anyone wishing to expand his or her horizons and consider the issue of conversion from a new perspective.


The modular design of the course allows the learner to choose subjects according to the areas in which he or she wishes to gain expertise, and to integrate chapters of the course with other courses dealing with issues related to the science of religion, history, literature, sociology, geography and gender studies.鈥