Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key: Anglo-Jewry's Construction of Modern Jewish Thought

Sampul Depan
Princeton University Press, 2000 - 291 halaman

Historians of the European Jewish experience have long marginalized the intellectual achievement of Jews in England, where it was assumed no seminal figures contributed to the development of modern Jewish thought. In this first comprehensive account of the emergence of Anglo-Jewish thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, David Ruderman impels a reconsideration of the formative beginnings of modern European Jewish culture. He uncovers a vibrant Jewish intellectual life in England during the Enlightenment era by examining a small but fascinating group of hitherto neglected Jewish thinkers in the process of transforming their traditional Hebraic culture into a modern English one. This lively portrait of English Jews reformulating their tradition in light of Enlightenment categories illuminates an overlooked corner in the history of Jewish culture in England and Jewish thought during the Enlightenment.

Ruderman overturns the conventional view that the origins of modern Jewish consciousness are located exclusively within the German-Jewish experience, particularly Moses Mendelssohn's circle. Independent of the better-known German experience, the encounter between Jewish and English thought was incubated amid the unprecedented freedom enjoyed by Jews in England. This resulted in a less inhibited defense of Jews and Judaism. In addition to the original and prolific thinkers David Levi and Abraham Tang, Ruderman introduces Abraham and Joshua Van Oven, Mordechai Shnaber Levison, Samuel Falk, Isaac Delgado, Solomon Bennett, Hyman Hurwitz, Emanuel Mendes da Costa, Ralph Shomberg, and others. Of obvious appeal and import to students of Jewish and English history, this study depicts the challenge of defining a religious identity in the modern age.


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The Scripture Correcting Maniac Benjamin Kennicott and His Hutchinsonian and AngloJewish Detractors
The New and Metrical English Bible Robert Lowth and His Jewish Critic David Levi
Deism and Its Reverberations in English Jewish Thought Abraham ben Naphtali Tang and Some of His Contemporaries
Between Rational and Irrational Dissent Political Radicalism in AngloJewish Thought
Science and Newtonianism in the Culture of AngloJewry
Translation and Transformation The Englishing of Jewish Culture
Moses Mendelssohn through AngloJewish Eyes
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David B. Ruderman is the Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History and Director of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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