‘Rabbinizing’ in Sixteenth-Century Polemics

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‘Rabbi’ is a title for a Jewish scholar. Indeed, the term rabbi is as Jewish as it gets. For Christians in the past, the rabbi was a symbol of a type of uncompromising yet anachronistic and evidently erroneous scholarship. And yet, in the sixteenth century we encounter several Christian rabbis. This article explorers the employment of the title ‘rabbi’ by Christians in relation to Christian scholars. It focuses on two areas, Christian Hebraism, where the term rabbi appears as an attempt to mimic rabbinical usage, and religious polemics, where the term is often used ironically. Despite the clear differences between more positive and more negative implications of the usages of the term, the article shows that ‘rabbi’ in Christian scholarly discourse – in contrast to its use in popular, often disdainful, images of Jewish rabbis – indicated a form of inclusion and acceptance of Jewish scholarship in the sixteenth century.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordisk judaistik - Scandinavian Jewish Studies
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022

ID: 280667414