The Medieval Studies Workshop is sponsoring a session at the 47th International Congress in Kalamazoo, entitled: Christian Hebraism in the Middle Ages.
We are currently accepting proposals from students and faculty. If you are interested in presenting a paper, please send your abstract (250 words max.) and a “Participant Information Form” (available at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF) to firstname.lastname@example.org by FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9.
Please find a detailed description of the session below:
Scholarship on Christian Hebraism (the Christian study of the Hebrew language and Jewish texts, including the Old Testament) generally focuses on the Church Fathers or European intellectuals of the 17-18th centuries. This panel seeks to reevaluate the state of Hebrew learning in the medieval Christian world, after Jerome (d. 420) and prior to Johannes Buxtorf (d. 1629). By analyzing specific cases of medieval Hebraism, the papers will enable a fuller picture of Christian Hebraism as it occurred in varied historical and cultural circumstances. Papers will address questions such as the following: What motivated medieval Christians to learn Hebrew, and which Jewish texts did they study (Old Testament, Talmud, Kabbalah)? Was their knowledge directed outwardly (e.g., to proselytize and polemicize against Jews) or inwardly (e.g., to translate and interpret the Bible for a Christian audience)? Who were their teachers (e.g., rabbis, converts to Christianity, other Christian Hebraists), and what anxieties existed about learning from Jews? Where did Hebrew lessons occur and which institutions supported them? In what ways was the Old Testament considered a Jewish or a Christian text?
Graduate co-Coordinator, Medieval Studies Workshop