This fall, Tel Aviv University (TAU) Professor Oded Lipschits and Ido Koch will be teaching a course on the Exilic period of Babylonian rule over Judah. A transitional link between First and Second Temple periods, the Exilic period shaped the Judean national consciousness and religion for generations to follow. The TAU scholars are taking the material beyond the traditional the lecture hall; the course website invites anyone with “curiosity and passion for Biblical literature, archaeology and history” to sign up for “The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem,” a six-week online course.
Nadav Stark, Director of Online Learning for TAU’s Business Development Corporation, told BAS, “As a public university we are committed not only to research but to bring to the attention of the public what it is that the university does and how it does it.” Teaching in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) format “enables scaling of quality education;” Stark is aiming for 30,000 registered students to attend the course on the Exilic period.
In a video from the coursera website (see below), Oded Lipschits describes the curriculum: “The main objective of this course is to present a comprehensive and inclusive profile … of the period of the Babylonian rule over Judah, and to emphasize that the Exilic period is not a time of a gap, but a historical, archaeological and theological bridge between the First and the Second Temple periods.”
This study of archaeological data, Biblical accounts and extrabiblical sources on the period of the Babylionian Exile is one of several TAU endeavors online. Stark believes this format marks “a new frontier in higher education, and we all are very excited about the courses and the ability to engage the students in a very different way.”
Watch a video on the Fall and Rise of Jerusalem from the course website:
Video published with the permission of Tel Aviv University.