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Reuchlin—A Search for Salvation

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Chapter Summary

In order to establish why Reuchlin had the Augenspiegel printed at that particular date, it is necessary to follow the course of events that led to the pamphlet's immediate publication. A cursory analysis indicated it to be a liberal document of a humanist scholar pleading for a more enlightened and tolerant approach to Judaism. The author publicly claims that he published the Augenspiegel ostensibly to redeem his character. This had resulted from allegations made in an earlier publication entitled 'Hand Mirror' by a Moravian Jew, named Johannes Pfefferkorn. He specifically criticised Reuchlins's Jewish religious books which he had submitted to the imperial commission. The examination of the Jewish books had to be executed according to a defined legal procedure: the title of each confiscated book had to be entered in two registers by a notary public, one for the Jewish authorities and a second for the imperial records.

Keywords:Augenspiegel; Johannes Pfefferkorn; Judaism; Moravian Jew; Reuchlin

10.1163/9789004241879_005
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