Jewish, Islamic and Middle East studies will illuminate the general questions of our liberal arts and sciences curriculum from the purview of Jews, Muslims, and other Middle Easterners. The program will allow students interested in Jewish and Islamic religion and Middle Eastern history, politics, and culture to focus on a deeper understanding of the contribution of Judaism and Islam to the development of world civilizations. Part of what distinguishes this program from others like it nationally is that it will require students to understand the entangled and interconnected histories, cultures, and politics of Jews, Muslims, and other religious groups over time and in different contexts, as well as the similarities and conflicts between these groups. Furthermore, this program seeks to incorporate college-wide conversations about integration and diversity on campus with the rigors of academic investigation.
This program will house three different minors in (1) Jewish Studies; (2) Islamic and Middle East Studies; and (3) Jewish, Islamic and Middle East Studies.
The new Jewish, Islamic and Middle East Studies Program (JIMES) at Rhodes College hosted Dr. Leor Halevi for its first lecture. Halevi, associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University, spoke about his new book, Modern Things on Trial: Islam's Global and Material Reform in the Early 20th Century.