Seventeenth-Century Christian Hebraists: Philosemites or Antisemites?
Several years ago my husband, Gordon Weiner, and I both gave papers at a conference of historians. My husband’s paper was on Jewish attitudes towards Christians in the early modern period, while mine was on Christian attitudes towards Jews. In my paper, I argued that it was entirely appropriate to label Christian attitudes towards the Jews before the nineteenth century as antisemitic rather than anti-Judaic. To my mind, this was a rather innocent and uncontroversial suggestion because it was so easy to document that hostility towards the Jews involved much more than their religion. So, imagine my surprise when, after we had presented our papers, a man got up and said that he was very confused by the panel. One participant — he pointed to my husband — had given a very scholarly presentation, while the other, and that of course could only be me, was a ‘mere popularizer’. I later learned that the man who had so strenuously objected to my paper was a Lutheran theologian and that I had deeply offended him.
KeywordsSeventeenth Century Early Modern Period Early Century Ritual Murder Potential Convert
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