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Christian Hebraism in the Reformation Era (1500-1660)

Authors, Books, and the Transmission of Jewish Learning


Stephen G. Burnett

Christian Hebraism in early modern Europe has traditionally been interpreted as the pursuit of a few exceptional scholars, but in the sixteenth century it became an intellectual movement involving hundreds of authors and printers and thousands of readers. The Reformation transformed Christian Hebrew scholarship into an academic discipline, supported by both Catholics and Protestants. This book places Christian Hebraism in a larger context by discussing authors and their books as mediators of Jewish learning, printers and booksellers as its transmitters, and the impact of press controls in shaping the public discussion of Hebrew and Jewish texts. Both Jews and Jewish converts played an important role in creating this new and unprecedented form of Jewish learning.