Jewish Intellectuals in Early Modern Italy
David B. Ruderman and Giuseppe Veltri, Editors
"A new window into the richness of Renaissance culture, which cannot be understood without the Jews."—American Historical Review
"Cultural Intermediaries is highly original, featuring contributions from the leading internationally renowned scholars in the field. It raises the discourse on the intellectual history of Jews in Italy during the sixteenth century to a new and higher level. A cutting-edge analysis."—Benjamin Ravid, Brandeis University
Focusing on an epoch of spectacular demographic, political, economic, and cultural changes for European Jewry, Cultural Intermediaries chronicles the lives and thinking of ten Jewish intellectuals of the Renaissance, nine of them from Italy and one a Portuguese exile who settled in the Ottoman empire after a long sojourn in Italy. David B. Ruderman, Giuseppe Veltri, and the other contributors to this volume detail how, in the relative openness of cultural exchange encountered in such intellectual centers as Florence, Mantua, Pisa, Naples, Ferrara, and Salonika, these Jewish savants sought to enlarge their cultural horizons, to correlate the teachings of their own tradition with those outside it, and to rethink the meaning of their religious and ethnic identities within the intellectual and religious categories common to European civilization as a whole.
The engaging intellectual profiles created especially for this volume by scholars from Israel, North America, and Europe represent an important rereading and reinterpretation of early modern Jewish culture and society and its broader European intellectual contexts.
David B. Ruderman is Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History and Director of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Among his books are Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key and Jewish Discovery and Scientific Thought in Early Modern Europe.
Giuseppe Veltri is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and Director of the Leopold Zunz Centre for the Study of European Judaism. He is author of Juden in der Renaissance and Gegenwart der Tradition.