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Jewish Philosophy, Science of Judaism and Philology in Salomon Munk and Samuel David Luzzatto’s Letters Exchange

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image of European Journal of Jewish Studies

The correspondence of the Italian Hebraist Samuel David Luzzatto (1800–1865) and the German-Jewish Orientalist Salomon Munk (1803–1867) sheds light on the trans-European dimension of the movement known as the Science of Judaism. This article is based on the reconstruction of the friendship between Luzzatto and Munk as reflected in Luzzatto’s letters to Munk in Paris. Their relationship was personal as well as intellectual: Luzzatto sent his son Philoxène, a promising Orientalist, to study under Munk’s supervision. Together with Munk’s letter to Philoxène, these letters provide us with details central to an understanding of the relationship between the two scholars. Although differing in their attitude toward Jewish faith and philosophy, Munk and Luzzatto shared a common interest in Hebrew and Oriental languages. Through their philological and linguistic studies, they challenged the Orientalistic attitude prevalent among European scholars and historians of philosophy in the first half of the nineteenth century.


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