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The Reuchlin ‘Affair’ Goes Public

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Chapter Summary

Reuchlin wished to defend Jewish religious writings and their language, but not their religious beliefs or their culture. Their faith was to be left for them to ponder on, and to God's judgement, though he was convinced they erred in remaining outside Christianity. The study of Hebrew, however, posed considerable difficulty in this era due to the lack of teachers or scholars of the language. Reuchlin was attracted to the Cabbala from an early stage of his life. He would also have admired him as an assiduous commentator and as an early translator of the Hebrew Bible. Reuchlin who was primarily motivated by his personal search for salvation became the foremost among them. His study of Hebrew caused him to include the rabbinical texts in his Cabbalistic readings, and as a means to study and interpret the Scriptures.

Keywords:Cabbala; Christianity; Hebrew; Jewish; Reuchlin

10.1163/9789004241879_007
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