Tuesday, March 07, 2006

English Hebraica beginsica

I'm still not sure what to call this blog. 'English Hebraica' might not sound exactly right. Anglica Hebraica? Anglica Judaica? Judaica Hebraica?

In any event, I am launching this blog because of these posts at On the Main Line:


I have long been fascinated by the phenomenon of Christian Hebraism. Why? Basically because Hebraism is a sort of mirror which reflected Judaism and can show how Judaism was perceived in various times and places, misperceptions and errors often, but right on target often as well. There are some surprises in these works and some things reassuringly familiar. It's interesting to trace the awareness of Judaism throughout the centuries. The trajectory tends to be from religiously motivated contempt for Judaism (antisemitism) to interest and even admiration for Judaism (philo-semitism), with varying degrees of normal curious interest in "the other" mixed in. There are historical and theological reasons for these movements, which I hope to post about.

Also illuminating in many of these works are diagrams contained within pertaining to all sorts of matters Jewish. In addition, the transliterations and definitions of Hebrew terms reveal a lot about the perceptions of Jews and Judaism.

In addition to Christian Hebraism, I've also been fascinated by Jewish works in non-Jewish vernaculars. English being my native tongue, this blog will be dedicated to some of them. Until recently I only had scant awareness of how old such works were. I hope to introduce not just myself, but interested readers to some of these things.

Good luck to me!

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