HIST 436 - The Land of Israel: Past and Present

  • 3 credits

Some history courses focus on a broad region over decades, even centuries. HIST 436 The Land of Israel: Past and Present examines the history of a very small and contested region over a span of more than 3,000 years. Issues we will investigate include: the importance of physical geography, material culture, and the Bible for constructing a coherent history of ancient Canaan/Israel; competing conceptions of the Holy Land in the pre-modern Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions; and competing conceptions of the Holy Land in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict (ca. 1900-present).

The lectures for this CSU Online course are the lectures for the on-campus section of HIST 436 which will be livestreamed on Mondays & Wednesdays 5:00pm-6:15pm (Mountain Time). CSU Online students are encouraged to log in via Zoom to the participate in the on-campus class discussions when their schedules permit. The lectures will also be available via the Echo360 link on the HIST 436 Canvas page.

This course can be applied toward:


3 credits of HIST; NO Freshmen.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn (2017)
    Gordis, Daniel
    ISBN: 9780062368751
  • Jerusalem: The Biography (2012)
    Montefiore, Simon Sebag
    ISBN: 978-0307280503
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the Holy Land (2018)
    Williamson, H. G. M. and Hoyland, Robert
    ISBN: 978-0198724391

Various primary sources, articles, and book chapters (Available via Canvas).


James E. Lindsay

(970) 491-6217 | james.lindsay@colostate.edu

I joined the Department of History at Colorado State University in 1996. My teaching repertoire includes courses on pre-modern and modern Middle East history. My research is focused on the history and historiography of the Islamic Near East in the middle ages. I regularly lead study tours to Israel that focus on the material covered in HIST 436.

My most recent publication (edited and translated with Suleiman A. Mourad) is Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period: An Anthology (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2021). Written in greater Syria, northern Mesopotamia, and Egypt, these Arabic sources provide eyewitness and contemporary historical accounts of what unfolded in the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. As such, this anthology is an attempt to bring to light a disparate selection of sources that in our assessment introduces students of Crusades history to a more complex understanding of the Crusades and the interactions between Franks and Muslims – which ranged from animosity to amity – in the broader context of Islamic history. All translations are our own. Many of these sources are translated here into English for the first time.

Learn more at: http://history.colostate.edu/people/lindsayj/

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