Short Course: Shakespeare and the Jewish-Christian Encounter

2014 celebrates the 450th anniversary of the births of the playwrights, William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. The Woolf Institute (Cambridge) is delighted to announce the introduction of a new Online Short Course, Shakespeare and the Jewish-Christian Encounter: Beyond The Merchant of Venice.

In this course, participants will explore the encounter with the ‘Other’ as portrayed by William Shakespeare and two of his contemporaries, Christopher Marlowe and Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland. You will be introduced (or, perhaps, re-introduced) to a selection of plays, investigating their language and imagery in both historical and literary contexts. The course encourages you to develop a knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of key Renaissance plays within a discussion of the ‘encounter’ [interfaith and intra-faith]; to appreciate the texts from the period in which they were written; and to challenge your own ideas and perceptions of the material covered. Ben Jonson (1572-1632), a contemporary of Shakespeare, declared of the playwright, he was ‘not for an age, but for all time’. Indeed, Shakespeare’s legacy lives on and, throughout the centuries, there have been different visual depictions of his plays. In the course, we will look at 19th- to 21st-century visual representations of the scenes and characters.

Our Online Short Courses offer participants the unique opportunity to engage in interfaith studies within an e-learning environment and provide them with a flexible approach to learning – study anywhere at any time. These Online Short Courses are available to join 365 days of the year. Designed as seven-week courses (including introductory and concluding sessions), participants will be able to view their chosen course for ten weeks. Participants will receive individual tutor support and feedback (but no formal grading). They will use Moodle (a virtual learning environment) to access their chosen course and be provided with all the necessary resources to complete the course. Those who engage fully in their chosen course will receive a Woolf Institute Certificate of Completion.

Join the course today! For further information about the Online Short Course, Shakespeare and the Jewish-Christian Encounter: Beyond The Merchant of Venice, contact me at or visit: