Holocaust Studies Calls Christianity Pathological

(or Is the Jewish Obsession With "The Holocaust" Pathological?)

by Ellery V. Christian

 

If you live in South Jersey, along the Shore, or one of one of several South Jersey counties, the only four year public college in a 50+ mile radius is Stockton State College. If you already have a B.A., and desire to get a Master's Degree, there are only seven programs from which to choose. One of those seven is an M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The vast majority of New Jersey's Jewish residents are in the North of the State. Yet Stockton is in the Southern portion of the state. It may seem a small state as compared to other states, but it is 120 miles from North to South. From South Jersey, or Atlantic City, it is too far to commute to any other state college.

The economic indicators are not as good for the Southern part of the State, as they are for the Northern portion. Thus going away to college is probably prohibitive for a good many students from working class families.

Some of the language on Stockton State College's website used to describe the program itself does seem problematic from the secularist point of view I come from. In fact, it seems jarring to see on the website of a state institution religious wording such as the following:

"The near destruction of European Jewry, is the most significant event in the death and life of the Jewish people since the destruction of the Second Temple."

It would have been better to describe in more neutral historical tones as the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Although not currently practicing, my upbringing in the Roman Catholic Church is part of my identity. Therefore, I absolutely reject that the assertion that appears on the college website describes Christianity as pathological.

"The Master of Arts program also considers the Holocaust as a watershed event in the history of Western civilization, an event that exposed at every level and every context the pathological forces at work beneath the surface in European Christianity." http://intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/page.cfm?siteID=73&pageID=116&program=MAHG

Can you imagine if a Middle-Eastern Studies department explained the Nakba (the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land by Israel at its creation in 1948) the sad legacy perpetrated by Zionism and continuing to the present, as "an event that exposed at every level and every context the pathological forces at work beneath the surface in European Jews who founded the colonial settler state of Israel". More than likely, there be a hue and cry, apoplectic fits and calls in Congress for the de-funding of Middle-East Studies from public colleges.

"The state funding formula gives Stockton less state aid per-student than other state colleges" (http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/story/6467479p-6322566c.html)

You may wonder why the college has chosen to use its limited resources on a program that would not be warranted by student interest alone. In fact, the State of New Jersey, Department of Education, has mandated Holocaust Education as part of the curriculum for all students. To ensure this curriculum is being administered, some teachers are being trained as graduate level experts. Throughout the state, workshops and teacher training is offered in order to meet the new standards.

On the other hand, the program at Rutgers New Brunswick states "This program is subsidized by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany." http://jewishstudies.rutgers.edu/hrc/mti/

In this way, we learn that it is the current taxpayers of Germany, by way of reparations, who are paying an unstated (so we don't know how large or small a percentage) of the department's costs.

This raises another question. Why is there a Jewish Studies Program at Rutgers, a public university at all? There is not a Christian Studies program at public colleges in the state. If you want to study about religions, you can major in Comparative Religions, but if you want to study Christianity specifically, then you must attend a private college, theological school or seminary. Indeed, that is the way it should be in a nation which since its inception has deeply valued and clearly delineated a separation of Church and State.

I am not opposed to the teaching of history nor even a specialization vis-a-vis a graduate studies program which focuses on the sad history of genocide and ethnic cleansing in general. However, it is clear by reading the description of courses (posted below) leading to a degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Stockton State College, that almost all the coursework is about the Holocaust. The word "genocide" has been thrown in to make it appear more balanced than it actually is. It is a travesty that the coursework does not mention how the State of Israel was declared and imposed on Palestine and its inhabitants, causing "Al Nakba", subsequent to World War II. Why is this not mentioned in this curriculum? I deplore that ethnic cleansing is not listed in the title of the program, nor in it's coursework. One can only think that it is self-serving to have excluded this topic. Population transfer and ethnic cleansing continue to haunt the human experience, and some of it is being perpetrated upon the Palestinians as we speak by the very descendants of the World War Two Genocide.

The World War Two genocide was by no means unique. As Edward Said reminded us, the term "holocaust" itself tends to erode rational thought. He preferred the term the World War Two Genocide, which was directed against Disabled people, Poles, Russians, Ukranians, Belarussians, Roma, Gypsies, gays, Serbs and Communists.

Why not a holocausts (plural) studies? There were other genocides that were larger in scope, while others that were smaller. Why does the suffering of one group of people take precedence over all others in the imagination of the average citizen? Obviously, it is by design.

Please do write the to the college and express your displeasure in polite language specifically with regard to the egregious Christian bashing in Stockton's program description..

Marcia S. Littell, Director, M.A. Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
PO Box 195 Pomona,
NJ 08240-0195
Phone: (609) 652-4418 Email: MAHG@stockton.edu

HERE IS THE HOLOCAUST STUDIES CURRICULUM (check this out):

http://intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/page.cfm?siteID=73&pageID=116&program=MAHG

The Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (MAHG) s a central component of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's commitment to study the history of the Holocaust and other forms of genocide, and to teach the lessons which can be derived from such study. Stockton was the first four-year college in the United States to offer a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. New Jersey teachers, in preparing youth for responsible citizenship, are required in both primary and secondary schools to include Holocaust and genocide studies in their classes. In addition to educators, the program has been accessed by other professionals who may seek individual growth, a first step toward doctoral work, or a means to upgrade their post-graduate qualifications.

The Program The Holocaust, or Shoah, is taught with reference to primary sources available from survivors, perpetrators, liberators and rescuers. The MAHG Program considers the Holocaust a watershed event in the history of Western civilization and studies it in its setting, with reference to the Jewish civilization that was destroyed, not only with regard to its impact on subsequent Jewish life and culture, but also as related to the legal and intellectual dimensions in the history of genocide.

Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Bulletin Information Introduction The Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies is a central component of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's commitment to study the history of the Holocaust and other forms and instances of genocide, and to teach the lessons which can be derived from such study.

The Holocaust or Shoah, the near destruction of European Jewry, is the most significant event in the death and life of the Jewish people since the destruction of the Second Temple. The Holocaust is taught with reference to the primary sources available from survivors, from perpetrators, from liberators and from rescuers. The Holocaust is studied in its setting, with reference to the Jewish civilization that was destroyed, and with regard to its impact on subsequent Jewish life and culture.

The Master of Arts program also considers the Holocaust as a watershed event in the history of Western civilization, an event that exposed at every level and every context the pathological forces at work beneath the surface in European Christianity. Many of the leading scholarly interpreters are present: on Stockton's teaching staff; as visiting specialists; through cooperative arrangements with Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and other major centers of research and publication; and through extensive book and video collections.

The study of the Holocaust provides important clues to understanding other cases of contemporary genocide. In turn, the Holocaust must be related to the legal and intellectual dimensions in the history of genocide. Specifically, the uniqueness of the Shoah does not blur its relevance to similar tragedies of other peoples. Also, the study of the Holocaust is leading to greater awareness of threatened genocides, and it has among other things resulted in an Early Warning System on potentially genocidal movements. After the Shoah, the concept of genocide as a crime in international law has made the targeting and mass murder of minorities by governments a focus of moral and civil concern. As genocidal assaults on minorities continue, citizens are coming to realize that genocide must be inhibited at an early stage.

Teachers play a major role in preparing youth for responsible citizenship. New Jersey and several other states have mandated study units on the Holocaust and other related issues as part of school curricula; many other states have recommended that such preparation be built into course work in the schools. The Master of Arts program will provide teachers with the requisite training and background to teach effectively about the Holocaust and genocide.

For other professionals, the prime reason for enrollment may be the acquisition of raised post-Holocaust standards of ethics and professional conduct. For yet others, the program may serve an interest in individual growth, as the first step toward doctoral work, or as a vehicle to upgrade post-graduate qualifications. Qualified students will be admitted to the program irrespective of individual goals as long as these goals do not diffuse the central thrust of the program.

Admission to the Program

Students who wish to apply must hold a B.S. or B.A. degree from a regionally accredited institution and must submit transcripts from all institutions of higher learning previously attended. Other factors that will be considered include the professional experience of the candidate, the candidate's overall undergraduate record, an essay stating his or her reason(s) for wanting to enroll in the program and two letters of recommendation. A personal interview may be required.

The College may accept up to 9 transfer credits that sufficiently match corresponding Stockton courses, provided that the grade earned is a B or better. Transfer credit requests should be submitted at the time of application. Any other transfer requests should be submitted to the students‚ advisor for prior approval, but in all cases no later than the first semester following admission to the program.

.A student who desires graduate education but does not intend to earn an M.A. Degree may be admitted to the program as a non-degree (non-matriculated) student provided he or she meets the admission requirements. Non-matriculated students will be limited to a maximum of 15 credits of graduate credit. (A maximum of 9 credits taken in non-matriculated status can be applied to the M.A. degree.) Registration in classes will be on a space-available basis once all matriculated students have registered.

Graduation Requirements

A student must complete a total of 36 hours of graduate credit. This includes ten 3-credit courses of which four must be the Core Courses listed below.

A student may choose to complete a Master's Thesis for the equivalent of 6 credit hours that he or she will defend as part of the degree requirements. The alternative track is to take 30 hours of graduate course work plus an additional 6 credits of course work within the graduate program or as fieldwork, or as a directed study program or internship.

A student must complete a total of 36 hours of graduate credit. This includes ten 3-credit courses of which four must be the Core Courses listed below.

A student may choose to complete a Master's Thesis for the equivalent of 6 credit hours that he or she will defend as part of the degree requirements. The alternative track is to take 30 hours of graduate course work plus an additional 6 credits of course work within the graduate program or as fieldwork, or as a directed study program or internship.

Students choosing to complete a Master's Thesis will engage in a Research Tutorial directed by the faculty member serving as the thesis advisor.

CORE COURSES

MAHG 5000 The Holocaust
MAHG 5001 Genocide
MAHG 5003 Holocaust and Genocide Education
MAHG 5006 Jewish History and Culture Before the Holocaust Notes: Holocaust and Genocide Education,
MAHG 5003, is offered with three different foci: Social Studies; Language Arts; and Art, Music, Film and Science. Any one of the three may be taken to satisfy the core requirement. The other two may be taken as electives.

ELECTIVES


MAHG 5002 Theology, Philosophy and Ethics of the Holocaust
MAHG 5004 The Holocaust and the American Experience
MAGH 5005 The Holocaust and Contemporary Genocides
MAHG 5007 Selected Topics with the Ida E. King Distinguished Scholar of Holocaust Studies MAHG 5008 Jewish/Christian Relations in the Shadow of Auschwitz
MAHG 5009 Christian Antisemitism and the Holocaust
MAHG 5011 The Psychology of Genocide
MAHG 5012 Resisters During the Holocaust: Great Christian Teachers and the Holocaust MAHG 5016 Europe in the Twentieth Century
MAHG 5017 Women During Holocaust
MAHG 5018 Other Victims of the Holocaust and Nazi Genocide
MAHG 5019 The Holocaust in Literature and Film
MAHG 5020 The Literature of the Holocaust
MAHG 5021 Modern German History and the Holocaust
MAHG 5022 Study Seminar to the Sites MAHG 5023 Summer or Winter Session at Yad Vashem MAHG 5024 Literature of the Holocaust and Eastern Europe
MAHG 5025 Sociology of the Holocaust
MAHG 5026 Holocaust, Terrorism and Genocide
MAHG 5800 Independent Study
MAHG 5900 Internships

CORE COURSES

MAHG 5000 The Holocaust
MAHG 5001 Genocide
MAHG 5003 Holocaust and Genocide Education
MAHG 5006 Jewish History and Culture Before the Holocaust Notes: Holocaust and Genocide Education,
MAHG 5003, is offered with three different foci: Social Studies; Language Arts; and Art, Music, Film and Science. Any one of the three may be taken to satisfy the core requirement. The other two may be taken as electives.

ELECTIVES

MAHG 5002 Theology, Philosophy and Ethics of the Holocaust
MAHG 5004 The Holocaust and the American Experience
MAGH 5005 The Holocaust and Contemporary Genocides
MAHG 5007 Selected Topics with the Ida E. King Distinguished Scholar of Holocaust Studies MAHG 5008 Jewish/Christian Relations in the Shadow of Auschwitz
MAHG 5009 Christian Antisemitism and the Holocaust
MAHG 5011 The Psychology of Genocide
MAHG 5012 Resisters During the Holocaust: Great Christian Teachers and the Holocaust
MAHG 5016 Europe in the Twentieth Century
MAHG 5017 Women During Holocaust
MAHG 5018 Other Victims of the Holocaust and Nazi Genocide
MAHG 5019 The Holocaust in Literature and Film
MAHG 5020 The Literature of the Holocaust
MAHG 5021 Modern German History and the Holocaust
MAHG 5022 Study Seminar to the Sites
MAHG 5023 Summer or Winter Session at Yad Vashem
MAHG 5024 Literature of the Holocaust and Eastern Europe
MAHG 5025 Sociology of the Holocaust
MAHG 5026 Holocaust, Terrorism and Genocide
MAHG 5800 Independent Study
MAHG 5900 Internships

Information about the Program
Marcia S. Littell, Director, M.A. Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
PO Box 195
Pomona, NJ 08240-0195
Phone: (609) 652-4418
Email: MAHG@stockton.edu
Dean of Enrollment Management
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
PO Box 195
Pomona, NJ 08240-0195
Phone: (609) 652-4261

 

 

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