Article

European Jewry in the Early Modern Period: 1492–1750

Elisheva Carlebach

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199280322
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199280322.013.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 European Jewry in the Early Modern Period: 1492–1750

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This article describes conceptions of the early modern period in Jewish historiography, the Italian Renaissance, intellectual history, the Jews of Central Europe in the early modern period, the Sephardic diaspora in Western Europe, and messianism. Classical Jewish historiography depicted a sharp break between medieval and modern patterns, the movements of transformation seeming to emerge virtually out of nothing. Cecil Roth's The Jews in the Renaissance introduced Jewish historians to the riches of Jewish life in this multifaceted world. Jewish intellectual history in the early modern period is characterized by successful attempts to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497 had a profound impact on the life of Western European Jews, even beyond that on Iberian Jewry itself. Meanwhile, the messianic movement of Sabbatai Zevi reverberated strongly through the Jewish historiography of the early modern period.

Keywords: Jewish historiography; Italian Renaissance; messianism; Cecil Roth; Jews in the Renaissance; Iberian Jewry; Sabbatai Zevi

Article.  5306 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies ; Interfaith Relations ; History of Religion

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