Pfefferkorn vs. Reuchlin – spór o Talmud i inne księgi hebrajskie w latach 1509-1520
Pfefferkorn vs. Reuchlin – Dispute over the Talmud and Other Hebrew Books in 1509-1520
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During the fifteenth and sixteenth century the Jews in Germany were subject to imperial law and entitled to the protection of the law, but just in those days the campaign against Jewish books began to change for the campaign against Jews and Judaizers. This religious and social controversy in Germany started in 1511, when Johannes Reuchlin published his Report about the Books of the Jews in a work he called Doctor Johannsen Reuchlins Augenspiegel. The controversy flared up for evermore after its publication. Josef Pfefferkorn, who changed his name to Johann when he converted to Christianity in 1505, was on one side. He had the genuine support of significant members of the Dominican order in Cologne. Pfefferkorn and the Dominicans saw the confiscation and destruction of Jewish books, particularly the Talmud, as a valid initial step to converting the Jews to Christianity. Johannes Reuchlin was on the other side. He was known as one of the prominent jurists and humanist of his day and he was also the first efficient Christian Hebraist in Germany. Many of the exceptional intellectual postures of the Renaissance supported him. The most efficacious humanist defense of Reuchlin’s work was a satire entitled Letters of Obscure Men.
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