By Martin Mulsow, Richard H. Popkin
This quantity bargains with conversions to Judaism from the sixteenth to the 18th century. It presents six case experiences through prime overseas students on phenomena as crypto-Judaism, "judaizing", reversion of Jewish-Christian converts and mystery conversion of non-Jewish Christians for highbrow purposes. the 1st contributions research George Buchanan and John Dury, by way of 3 reports of the milieu of past due seventeenth-century Amsterdam. The final essay is anxious with Lord George Gordon and Cabbalistic Freemasonry. The contributions might be of curiosity for highbrow historians, but in addition historians of political concept or Jewish experiences.
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Extra info for Secret Conversions to Judaism in Early Modern Europe (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History)
I’ve never come across a Christian group of ex-Jews keeping up Judaism. When I saw the title of Dury’s paper, I had hoped it was about people like Moses Germanus, who had started as a Jesuit in Germany and ended up a Jew in Amsterdam. Recent research by Yosef Kaplan and Matt Goldish have found cases of people belonging to both Jewish and Christian communities and keeping up the practices of both. It would be interesting to ﬁnd out the prior history of such people, whether they began as Jews or as Christians, or possibly both.
John’s new baptism itself raises questions about the real and the apparent in the most direct and even painful ways. How can we be sure of anything? Buchanan clearly indicates that real understanding can only occur in a more open society where claims and counter-claims might be freely and seriously considered without recourse to blinkered authority. Precisely such mindless authoritarianism in the church, Buchanan later claimed to the Inquisition, had led him to take heretical opinions seriously.
3 See Popkin, “The First College for Jewish Studies,” in: Revue des études juives, Vol. 143. July–December, 1984, 353. 4 Dury knew all three from his years in The Netherlands. He was especially involved with Menasseh and Boreel. Rittangel is a curious character who proved too diﬃcult to manage for the project. 5 See Pierre Bayle’s article, “Rittangel,” in his Dictionnaire historique et critique. Written over ﬁfty years after the college plan, in which he still wonders whether Rittangel was a Jew who became a Christian or a Christian who became a Jew or went through a series of conversions in diﬀerent directions.