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Nation and Translation: Steinschneider’s Hebräische Übersetzungen and the End of Jewish Cultural Nationalism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses from a slightly different perspective, some of the issues that have been raised in this book: the (im-) possibility of cultural transfer from the medieval Christian to the Jewish domain, the importance of creating ecumenical spaces in order to affect that transfer, and the role which linguistic competence may have played in the process. It tries to tackle these themes through the work and thought of Moritz Steinschneider, the man who single-handedly supplied the basis for all past, present and no doubt future research on medieval translations from Latin into Hebrew. The chapter addresses Zunz's "grand, youthful program" and its optimistic Jewish nationalist bias had lost much of its momentum. The Hebräische Übersetzungen, with its pioneering section on medieval Hebrew translations of works by Christian authors, provides a good starting point for mapping out Steinschneider's juggling of traditional Wissenschaft values and the political demands of his time.

Keywords: Hebräische Übersetzungen; Jewish nationalist; Latin; Moritz Steinschneider; Wissenschaft; Zunz

10.1163/9789004252868_021
/content/books/b9789004252868_021
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