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Divided SoulsConverts from Judaism in Germany, 1500-1750$
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Elisheva Carlebach

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300084108

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300084108.001.0001

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Representation and Rivalry

Representation and Rivalry

Jewish Converts and Christian Hebraists

(p.200) Chapter 10 Representation and Rivalry
Divided Souls

Elisheva Carlebach

Yale University Press

This chapter introduces the Christian Hebraists, who focused on the study of the Jewish and Hebrew religion. It first discusses the public's increasing interest in the “secret” life of the Jews and introduces the concept of curiositas, which refers to a state where one re-examines accepted truths, among other things. It then presents a close reading of Paul Kirchner's opus in order to show the contest that existed between the Christian Hebraists and the Jewish converts. The chapter continues the discussion of the contest between these two groups during the Age of Enlightenment, where a more sophisticated generation of Jewish converts challenged the Christian Hebraists and their hegemony.

Keywords:   Christian Hebraists, secret life, curiositas, Paul Kirchner, Jewish converts, Age of Enlightenment, hegemony, Hebrew religion

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