Jews in the Reformation
in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600
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There is generally an unconscious or else admitted assumption that, as the Reformation changed so many things for Europe's Christians, it must therefore have had a similar effect on Jews. It is clear that, even in the Christian Renaissance, the accurate study of the Hebrew scriptures was still regarded with suspicion, even by apparently 'enlightened' scholars. More interesting, perhaps, are German Hebraist Johann Reuchlin's comments on the mystical Jewish Kabbalah, which turn late medieval Christian approaches to rabbinical Judaism in another direction, towards works which had previously hardly been considered by Christian scholars. Reuchlin's work was condemned by Christian intellectuals at the time, but the notion of Christian Hebraism was to survive through the period of the Reformation and beyond.


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