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Some Remarks on the Jewish Life of Jesus (Toledot Yeshu) in Early Modern Europe (Book chapter)

Book title: Understanding Jesus in the Early Modern Period and Beyond. Across Text and Other Media

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Book Series: Journal for Religion, Film and Media ISSN: 2414-0201 ISBN: 9783741000898 Year: Volume: 5/1 Pages: 29-45 DOI: 10.25364/05.4:2019.1.1 Language: english
Publisher: Schüren Verlag
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-03 09:49:44
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Abstract

The Jewish Life of Jesus (Toledot Yeshu) is perhaps one of the most infamous retellings of the gospel narrative of the pre-modern era. The present essay explores its reception and circulation of among both Jews and Christians in the period before and after the first editions of the work, by J.C. Wagenseil in 1681 and J.J. Huldreich in 1705. The work was an object of fascination for early modern scholars of Judaism and was regularly invoked in discussions concerned with the Talmud and other Jewish books alleged to be “blasphemous.” For Jewish scholars, it was a source of embarrassment, although both the manuscript and documentary evidence demonstrates that many Jews did view Toledot Yeshu as a culturally significant narrative, worthy of being transmitted. It is here suggested that Toledot Yeshu, with its direct and emotional cogency, combining history, humour, and polemics, was indeed recognized by early-modern Jews and crypto-Jews as a powerful story, to which they could articulate their identity.

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Understanding Jesus in the Early Modern Period and Beyond. Across Text and Other Media

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Journal for Religion, Film and Media ISSN: 2414-0201 ISBN: 9783741000898 Year: Volume: 5/1 Pages: 153 DOI: 10.25364/05.4:2019.1.1 Language: english
Publisher: Schüren Verlag
Subject: Visual Arts --- Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2020-08-27 09:54:47
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Abstract

This thematic issue seeks to provide a more nuanced and more complicated history of how historical narratives about the life of Jesus were produced and circulated in European culture. The focus on media is one of the most innovative ways to provide such an involved history, pointing to the cultural history of scholarship and the many ways in which societies produce historical representations of theological themes.

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