Wissenschaft des Judentums Beyond Tradition. Jewish scholarship on the Sacred Texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
WISSENSCHAFT DES JUDENTUMS BEYOND TRADITION – Book Sample
Philology of the Jewish Spirit
Wissenschaft des Judentums and Jewish Scholarship on the Sacred Texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Among the many attempts to provide a definition of Wissenschaft des Judentums,1 Abraham Geiger’s following description still stands as of special interest:2
Die Wissenschaft des Judenthums ist die Betrachtung der eigenthümlichen Richtung des Geisteslebens, welche in einem besondern Kreise thätig war, der eben das Judenthum be-gründete, entwickelte, und weithin verkündete, und es bis zur Stunde lebenskräftig erhält. (“Wissenschaft des Judentums is the examination of the characteristic way of intellectual life operative in the particular circle that founded, developed and promulgated Judaism, and provides it with vital energy to this hour.”)…
Jost and the Scholarly Reassessment of the Hebrew Bible
When the question of Jewish reception of biblical criticism is raised, Jost’s name in particular is one of the first to be mentioned.3 This is due to the fact that he was heavily influenced by Protestant biblical criticism, especially the biblical scholar and orientalist Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (1752–1827), who had been his teacher when he studied languages, theology and philosophy at the university in Göttin-gen in 1813 and 1814.
This influence is clearest in three of Jost’s works: first and foremost, in his Geschichte der Israeliten seit der Zeit der Maccabäer bis auf unsere Tage (“History of the Israelites since Maccabean times”), published in nine vol-umes between 1820 and 1828; second, in his lesser known Allgemeine Geschichte des israelitischen Volkes (“General history of the Israelite People”), published 1831–1832; and third, in his Geschichte des Judenthums und seiner Sekten (“His-tory of Judaism and its Sects”) which appeared in three volumes between 1857–1859. In the following, I focus on Jost’s remarks in the first of these works, the ..
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