The Preservation of Jewish Religious Books in Sixteenth-Century Germany: Johannes Reuchlin's Augenspiegel


This book is the first complete and thoroughly commented English translation of Johannes Reuchlin’s Augenspiegel (1511). The translation sheds light on the author’s motive in appealing to the authorities for the preservation of Jewish books at a stage of great cultural change in Early Modern Europe. It also addresses the question of how the church and state dealt intellectually with Judaism at a time when it was considered a threat to the existence of Christianity. The translation of one of the most politically controversial sixteenth century pamphlets provides a view of the treatment of a minority’s culture with perhaps lessons for today’s world.
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Biographical Note

Daniel O’Callaghan is a qualified teacher and holds M. Phil. and M. Litt. degrees from Trinity College, Dublin. Besides teaching, he works as a free-lance translator and researcher of historical themes.

Table of contents


1. Johannes Reuchlin - Historical Perspective

2. Reuchlin and His Study of the Law

3. Reuchlin - A Search For Salvation

4. The Reuchlin ‘Affair’ Unfolds

5. The Reuchlin ‘Affair’ Goes Public

6. Reuchlin - The Cabbalist

7. Reuchlin - An Intellectual of His Time

8. The Reuchlin ‘Affair’ - A Debate Without End

9. Note on the Translated Text

10. Augenspiegel - Translation and Annotations

List of Abbreviations


Scholars, students and general readers interested in Reformation and Renaissance history; Jewish studies; Church history and the history of Law.


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