Lecture by John Tolan: ‘Oxford Jews & Christian Hebraism in the 13th Century’ – 02/23/16 (Philadelphia)

On the 23rd of February 2016, John Tolan, co-director of the IPRA, will give a lecture on the topic ‘Oxford Jews & Christian Hebraism in the 13th Century’, at the University of Pennsylvania. This lecture is Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Jewish Studies Program’s Kutchin Seminar Series, Medieval Studies Program, and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Summary: In the early 1230s, Robert Grosseteste, Franciscan lector at Oxford, Bishop of Lincoln, and one of the intellectual giants of thirteenth-century England, penned his De cessatione legalium, in which he sets out to show that continuing observance of the Mosaic law by Christians is heretical.  At about the same time, Grosseteste wrote a preface to a bilingual Hebrew-Latin psalter, one of about a dozen Hebrew manuscripts from a group of thirteenth-century English Hebraists based principally in Oxford. Oxford was the home to a thriving Jewish community, economically prosperous and intellectually active.  While historical records indicate tensions and occasional violence between Christians and Jews, these manuscripts testify to intellectual exchanges and collaboration.

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