Where does antisemitism come from? Why does it happen? This interactive seminar-style course will try to answer those questions by focusing on three main themes.
The first of these themes, religious antisemitism, will cover the period between the propagation of the Christian gospels and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 to understand how the teachings of the Church contributed to and encouraged hatred and persecution of Jews.
The second theme, racial antisemitism, will cover the period up until the end of the Second World War. It will look at how religious antisemitism was augmented by a view of Jews as a “separate” people, essentially hostile to the societies in which they found themselves, whether in Germany, Poland or the Russian empire.
The final theme will address our own time, and the manner in which antisemitism is at once racial, religious and entangled with the emergence of Zionism and the State of Israel.
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Angus Smith was an intelligence analyst with the RCMP for more than 30 years, a career that included work on Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, corruption, terrorism and national security. He has also had a long career as a Jewish educator, as a Jewish youth movement leader and as a speaker and writer on Jewish culture and history. Now semi-retired, he is an award-winning author and a popular teacher with the Senior’s College Association of Nova Scotia.