Intellectual context
Theology and theologians
in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
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The Jewish Theological Seminary was on the traditional wing of the acknowledgement school with a special attachment to its scientific branch. It was founded by graduates of Breslau and Berlin, but there was a significant intellectual debt to Frankfurt. In practice, Chief Rabbis ideologies were a synthesis of the approach of the Wissenschaft des Judentums scholar Zachariah Frankel; the more traditional exponent of Wissenschaft, Esriel Hildesheimer, and the romantic, Torah im derekh erets philosophy of S.R. Hirsch. For Leopold Zunz, Wissenschaft des Judentums was a branch of the Classics, as he wrote: 'Wissenschaft needs first of all to emancipate itself from the theologians and raise itself to the level of historical understanding.' The social context of traditionalism became important, for traditionalist members of the acknowledgement were accepted as being traditional and as authentic representatives of Judaism by those who rejected as much of modernity as they could.


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