Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


THCT100 What Christians Believe or PHIL107 Philosophy of World Religions

Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, integrated classroom discussions and online learning, focusing on students as active learners. It also includes guest lectures and excursions (where feasible and available) related to the unit content. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is an introduction to Judaism, one of the world's major monotheistic faith traditions. Judaism is more than just a set of religious beliefs for its adherents. It is a unique way of life that has had major historical influence and is one of the longest surviving religious traditions still in existence. THSR20X explores key concepts such as Jewish identity, law, prayer, the Jewish (religious) calendar, and important life cycle events. Students will become acquainted with the most important Jewish texts: the Hebrew Bible (TeNakh), the Talmud and other rabbinic writings, and writings in Jewish mystical and philosophical thought. Attention will be paid to the different denominations in contemporary Judaism, such as Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist (among others). Present-day topics in Jewish thought, such as the Shoah (the Holocaust), Zionism and the modern State of Israel, will also be studied.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe important Jewish beliefs, practices, texts, and movements. (GA1; GA4; GA6; GA10);

LO2 - Evaluate theological and textual debates within Judaism, including the historical reasons behind these debates and their contemporary relevance among Jews today (GA1; GA4; GA6);

LO3 - Apply insights from contemporary forms of Judaism towards an analysis of the broad spectrum of Judaisms in an Australian context, with a view towards the value of interreligious learning and respect (GA1; GA4; GA6).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Jewish beliefs and practices 
  • Jewish scriptures and other major texts 
  • Jewish history and culture  
  • Jewish mysticism, thought and philosophy.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, integrated classroom discussions and online learning (where applicable), focusing on students as active learners. It also includes guest lectures and excursions (where feasible and available) related to the unit content. The remaining hours involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.

The unit is normally offered in attendance mode or multi-mode. Students learn through formally structured and sequenced learning activities that support the achievement of the learning outcomes. Students are asked to critically reflect, analyse, and integrate new information with existing knowledge, draw meaningful new connections, and then apply what they have learned. Collaborative and peer learning is also emphasized.

These face-to-face activities enable students to acquire and assimilate knowledge of Islamic faith and identify the importance of Islamic faith to the life of believers, particularly through the presence and articulation of the lecturer and tutors.

THSR207 emphasises students as active, adult learners. Students are recognised as adult learners who engage best when what they are learning is relevant to them and gives them the opportunity to be responsible for their own learning. In many ways, the student is the one who drives the learning forward, and their active participation in this unit is essential. Learning is designed to be an engaging and supportive experience, which helps students to develop critical thinking and reflection skills.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to attempt all assessment tasks and achieve an overall grade of Pass (50% or higher). 


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome.


Task 1 asks students to identify important beliefs in Judaism and reflect briefly on their meaning. This task is designed to allow them to display achievement of Learning Outcome 1.


Task 2 asks students to demonstrate understanding of key beliefs and practices in Judaism and evaluate historical and theological perspectives, in order to display achievement of Learning Outcome 2.


Task 3 invites students to apply understanding and insights of contemporary Judaism in order to display achievement of Learning Outcome 3.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Individual or group presentation: Students present knowledge of significant Jewish beliefs or practices.



GA1, 4, 6, 10

Examination: Requires students to demonstrate theological and historical understanding of Jewish beliefs and practices, and debates within Judaism about these beliefs and practices.


LO1, LO2

GA1, 4, 6, 10

Critical research essay: Requires students to apply insights from a contemporary understanding of different Judaisms in an Australian context.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, 4, 6, 10

Representative texts and references

Biale, David. Norton Anthology of World Religions: Judaism. New York: Norton 2015. 


Batnitzky, Leora. How Judaism Became a Religion. An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.  


Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. Judaism: History, Belief and Practice. London: Routledge, 2003. 


De Lange, Nicholas. An Introduction to Judaism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 


Neusner, Jacob. Judaism. The Basics. London: Routledge, 2006. 


Robinson, George. Essential Judaism. A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000. 


Sacks, Jonathan. One People? Tradition, Modernity, and Jewish Unity. London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1993. 


Zetterholm, Karin Hedner. Jewish Interpretation of the Bible: Ancient and Contemporary. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012. 

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