Who made tlie decision, within the departments of RehgiousrnStudies, to include Judaism? hi many cases the field wasrnthe creation of Protestant clergy, who moved from the collegernchaplaincy to chairmanships of academic departments, or whorndid not even moc out of the chaplaincy when they took on thernw ork of organizing departments. In other cases, philosophers ofrnreligion broadened their horizons. The founders of ReligiousrnStudies, encompassing Judaism, exemplify the breadtli of sympathyrnamong the framers of American civilization: white, mostlyrnmale Protestants, generally deriving from old Americanrnfamilies, many originating in liberal Protestant seminaries, whornso defined a field as to accommodate everybody and in theoryrnexclude nobodv. They were truK multicultural in sympathyrnand intent.rnWhy did the choose to study a religion other than Christianity?rnSince we deal with a phenomenon of the 1950’s andrnearlv 1960’s, wc do well to remember the political tasks of thernuniscrsitics of that time: to prepare oung Americans for thernstruggle against conununism, to proyide the intellectualrnfoundations for this country’s encounter with world polities.rnIsolationist before World War II, Americans had to learn howrnto deal with difference, to negotiate diversity on a world scale.rnIntellectually quiescent and hardlv the center of wodd sciencernand learning before Wodd War II, Americans had to build uponrnthe remarkable achievements in natural science and socialrnscience, to retool in engineering, and to reshape the humanitiesrninto a medium conducive to our country’s encounter with itsrnallies and potential allies throughout the world. Within thatrnpolitical setting, the academy opened its doors to formerly excludedrngroups, Jews standing first in line at what they conceivedrnto be the prestigious universities; Catholics aspiring to drawrntheir parochial svstem of higher education into the mainstream.rnIhc founders of Religious Studies wanted Judaism to formrnthe centerpiece for the study of religion in general, to reshapernthe field. Thev had in mind not believers celebrating the faithrnfor believers (rabbis interrogating voung Jews, as thev commonlyrndid in the 195()’s, on why they ate pork or dated Gentiles) butrnqualified scholars, Jewish or Ccntile, engaging students in thernstudy of religion in general. And they believed Judaism couldrnbe a topic of sustained analytical interest, so that studyingrnJudaism under diverse circumstances would be challenged by arnnew paradigm and a fresh episteme.rnTwenty years after the academy had already opened therndoors to these new disciplines, ethnic studies showed uprnon campus with their special pleading, their appeals to “ourrncrowd,” and their explicitly exclusionary program: black dorms,rnblack professors teaching black students to hate whites, especiallyrnJews and Catholics; Jewish professors of Jewish Studiesrnteaching Jews to fear Gentiles; man-bashing 101 (as my daughterrncalled Women’s Studies at her college).rnReligious Studies defined a discipline that encompassed Judaism.rnEthnic studies, on the other hand, are inelusive topicall-rnbut lack all disciplinary focus. In the former setting, a arictyrnof data will come under study, and a variety of approaches tornlearning will make an appearance. In the latter model that thernacademv’ has now absorbed, all things Jewish belong together,rnbut nothing Gentile, so that a major may comprise courses onrnAmerican Jewish history. Job, and Maimonides, or six coursesrnon the Holocaust in history, polities, and religion, and fourrncourses on Midrash—or any other combination of matters thatrnscarcely hold together at all.rnWc need not dismiss as merely self-celebratory or self-indulgentrnthe formation of programs or departments of Judaic Studies,rnfor when well-crafted as a meeting place for a number ofrncoherent disciplines of the social sciences and humanities, suchrnprograms or departments may mount a strong intellectualrndefense of their work. But it is the simple fact that, at this time,rnno program or department of Jewish Studies may representrnitself as disciplinary in its focus—let alone as interdisciplinary.rnThe current programs may more accurately be classified asrnnondiseiplinary.rnIn fact, yhile Gentile students may enroll in courses in Judaismrnas part of Religious Studies, and Gentile professors mayrnwell offer such courses (as they often do in “I lebrew Scriptures”rnand “Second Temple Judaisms”), in the new Jewish Studiesrnprograms, the ethnic definition of the subject encompassesrnalso the practitioners. As Bernard D. Cooperman notes in hisrnessay “Jewish Studies and Jewish Identity,” enrollments in JewishrnStudies courses arc low and getting lower: “Certainly we arcrnfailing to attract Gentiles to our courses.” In disciplinary coursesrnin Religious Studies, it is common for far more than halfrnthe students to derive from Christian or other Gentile origins.rnThe prevailing premise in Jewish Studies is that here is wherern”we” get to study ourselves. Cooperman is explicit on the goals:rn”Jewish Studies programs aim at giving students the ability tornparticipate in Jewish culture and contribute to it.” A statementrnalong those same lines on behalf of “Christian Studies” wouldrnexclude all but practicing Christians and therefore be unacceptable.rnSo the difference between Jewish Studies and the traditionalrnacademic study of Judaism, the religion, registers keenly.rnHere is multieulturalism that in fact ghettoizes; it isrnmonoculturalism. The counterpart to this is the black professorrnwho teaches his opinion but offers nothing even remotely resemblingrnscholarship. These “multiculturalists” are anti-white,rnanti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and anti-everybody else and canrnonly get students by making Black Studies a requirement.rn”The salient characteristic of modern Jewish Studies,”rnCooperman continues, “is an intense and passionate effortrnto discover and delineate an authentic and independentrnJewish society and culture through the ages. The field of Jewishrnstudies assumes that, no nratter how much Jews took fromrnsurrounding civilizations, they also addressed Jewish concernsrnin the terminological, conceptual, and often institutionalrnvocabulary of the Jewish past. Demarcating the contours ofrnthis ‘independent authenticity’ is the cardinal task of JewishrnStudies today.” I’he contrast is clear between the terms andrnissues stressed by Cooperman and those that would characterizerna corresponding statement about the traditional academicrnstudy of Judaism.rnThe ethnic model for Jewish Studies came on the scenernabout a decade and a half after departments of Religious Studiesrnhad included Judaism. How come? The powerful emotionsrngenerated by the 1967 war in the Middle East; the discovery ofrnthe Judaism of the I lolocaust that has predominated to the presentrnand reached a climax in America with the Holocaust Museumrnmoyemcnt in every Jewish community in the country;rnthe focus on Israeli politics—these phenomena deeply affectedrnhow Jews and Judaism were represented on campus. ‘The highlyrnintellectual, profoundly Protestant conception of religion andrnculture as masters of conviction, intellectual consequence,rnreflection and criticism, now met competition from anrnother-than-intellectual rendering of Jewish existence (here thernSEPTEMBER 1995/21rnrnrn