A New Model of Christian Interaction with the Jews: The Institutum Judaicum and Missions to the Jews in the Atlantic World

in Journal of Early Modern History
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The Institutum Judaicum represented a new movement in the realm of Christian interactions with the Jews. The mission, and the Pietist movement as a whole, proposed an alternative, non-supersessionist understanding of the Jews and their role in history. They made efforts to interact with that people and share with them the Pietist reading of the scriptures and a messianic vision for the End Times. While they considered their version of Christianity to be superior to the Jewish faith and maintained stereotypical images of Jews, they also militated for improvement of Christian treatments of Jewish minorities.

The mission in Halle did not remain a local isolated development. Its activities took place in certain parts of continental Europe, but its ambitions were global, and much of its work was in the realm of publications intended for Jewish and Christian audiences beyond its immediate areas of operation. The mission’s heritage and long-range influence went further than the time and geographical scope of its activity. Following in the footsteps of the Halle Pietists, numerous Pietist and evangelical missions sprang up, mostly in the Atlantic region, but often extending their activities to other parts of the Jewish world. The evangelical movement, which eclipsed Pietists in the size and influence of its activity, adopted many elements of the Pietist understanding of and interaction with the Jews.

Journal of Early Modern History

Contacts, Comparisons, Contrasts. Early Modernity Viewed from a World-Historical Perspective




Robert Liberles, “On the Threshold of Modernity: 1618-1780,” in Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945, ed. Marion A. Kaplan (Oxford, 2005), 11-91; Peter Vogt, “Connectedness in Hope: German Pietism and the Jews,” in A Companion to German Pietism, 1660-1800, ed. Douglas H. Shantz (Leiden 2014), 81-115, here, 82.


Toon, The Latter Day Glory, 26-34.


Thomas Müller-Bahlke, “Die Reisetagebücher des Institutum Judaicum et Muhammedicum der Reisen durch Polen 1730/31,” in Kwartalnik Historii Żydów (Jewish History Quarterly) 4 (2006): 504-508.


Christoph Bochinger, “Die Dialoge zwischen reisenden Studiosi und Juden in religionswissenschaftlicher Perspektive,” in Kwartalnik Historii Żydów (Jewish History Quarterly) 4 (2006): 509-520.


Bochinger, “Dialoge,” 514-518.


Bochinger, “Dialoge,” 509-520.


Giuseppe Veltri, “Die Diarii des Callenberg-Instituts: Eine Quelle zur Jüdischen Kulturgeschichte in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts,” in Kwartalnik Historii Żydów (Jewish History Quarterly) 4 (2006): 652-661.


Manuel, The Broken Staff, 249-292; Deutsch, Judaism in Christian Eyes.


Elliot R. Wolfson, “Immanuel Frommann’s Commentary on Luke and the Christianizing of Kabbalah: Some Sabbatean and Ḥasidic Affinities,” in Holy Dissent: Jewish and Christian Mystics in Eastern Europe, ed. Glenn Dynner (Detroit 2011), 171-222.


Henry Einspruch, “Literature for the Christian Approach to the Jews” in Christians and Jews: Report of the Atlantic City Conference on the Christian Approach to the Jews (New York, 1931), 97-102.


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