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Introduction - In Search Of A Jewish Renaissance

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Chapter Summary

The German "science of Judaism" showed a particular interest in the cultural history of humanism, a tendency probably best interpreted as an attempt by its adherents to discover in the arsenal of their own history a foundational act for the emergence of the new "critical" sciences. Knowledge of humanist Jewish culture was quite limited among German scholars, who were, however, amenable to change. Despite the enthusiasm mirrored in the scholarship of the past fifty years, early modern Judaism can still be considered a field of study that has remained largely untilled. The author recalls two general obstacles that affect the study of the history of Jewish science and philosophy. One of the most evident expressions of the new spirit was the rise of a new class of intellectuals that grew out of the large numbers of Jewish students who studied medicine together at university during this period.

Keywords: humanism; Jewish Renaissance; Judaism



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