Reuchlin, Johannes

(1455–1522)
   German Christian humanist. Reuchlin was a professor at the University of Tuebingen in Germany, and a highly respected European scholar. He studied Hebrew and the Cabbala (Jewish mysticism), and published the first authoritative Christian textbook on the Hebrew language in 1506.
   From 1507 to 1509 Johannes Pfefferkorn, a baptized Jew under the protection of the powerful Dominican Order, produced a stream of pamphlets denouncing the Talmud and other Jewish books as blasphemous. He urged that Jews should be confined to menial occupations or driven from Germany. Backed by the Dominican head of the Inquisition in Cologne, Pfefferkorn in 1509 obtained authority from Emperor Maximilian to seize all Hebrew books and destroy any he found anti-Christian. Having second thoughts, the emperor set up an ecclesiastical commission to consult various authorities. Reuchlin laid his conclusions before the commission in 1510. The Jews, he declared, were citizens of the empire (a position many would have challenged) and as such had the same rights as their fellow-citizens. Apart from a few works which might be considered ‘shameful’, their books should not only be preserved but such commentaries on the Bible as those by RASHI, Moses IBN EZRA and the KIMCHI family should be studied by Christian theologians, and the books on the Cabbala were also particularly important. He was not qualified to judge the Talmud, but was opposed to destroying it. The other universities and scholars consulted opted for burning the books. In reply to a scurrilous attack by Pfefferkorn, alleging that Reuchlin was a ‘Jew-lover’ and had been bribed, Reuchlin published in German in 1511 ‘Mirror to the Eyes’, stating firmly that the accusations against the Jews repeated through the ages were false. The pamphlet caused a sensation. Reuchlin was summoned before the inquisitional tribunal in Mainz on a charge of favouring the Jews and suspected heresy. Sending a lawyer as his representative, Reuchlin stayed in Rome. His book was duly condemned, and only the personal intervention of the pope stopped it being publicly burnt outside Mainz Cathedral. Reuchlin’s supporters now came to the fore, deriding the actions of the Dominicans. Finally, in 1516, the Lateran Council approved the work of Reuchlin (although his books were later put on the Index of prohibited works). Soon after, the pope encouraged Daniel Bomberg, a Christian printer of Venice, to produce an uncensored edition of the Talmud. Reuchlin’s defence was the beginning of the serious study of Hebrew by Christian scholars. Similarly, through his sympathetic writings on the Cabbala, he awakened academic interest in it and began that stream of thought which can be called ‘Christian Cabbala’.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • REUCHLIN, JOHANNES° — (Capnio, or Phorcensis; 1455–1522), German and Hebraist; one of the architects of the Christian kabbalah and famous as the defender of the Talmud and Jewish scholarship against the attacks of johannes pfefferkorn and the obscurantists. Born in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Reuchlin, Johannes — • German humanist (1455 1522) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Reuchlin, Johannes — (1455 1522)    Hebraist whose biblical studies aided the Reformation    Johannes Reuchlin was born at Pforzheim, Baden, Germany, on February 22, 1455. He studied at Freiburg, Paris, and Basel, where he also taught Greek and Latin. He then studied …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Reuchlin, Johannes — born Feb. 22, 1455, Pforzheim, Württemberg died June 6, 1522, Bad Liebnzell German humanist. After obtaining his law degree in 1481, he held court and judicial posts in Württemberg and its capital, Stuttgart, from the 1480s until 1512. Second… …   Universalium

  • Reuchlin, Johannes — (22 feb. 1455, Pforzheim, Württemberg–6 jun. 1522, Bad Liebnzell). Humanista alemán. Desde la década de 1480 hasta 1512, tras licenciarse en derecho en 1481, ocupó cargos judiciales y en tribunales en Württemberg y su capital, Stuttgart. Sólo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Johannes Reuchlin — Johannes Reuchlin. Detail eines Holzschnitts aus einem Einblattdruck von 1516 Johannes Reuchlin (* 29. Januar 1455[1] in Pforzheim; † 30. Juni 1522 in Stuttgart, auch: Johann Reichlin), gräzisiert Kapnion, Capnio …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Reuchlin-Gymnasium Ingolstadt — Schultyp Gymnasium Bundesland Bayern Koordinaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johannes Reuchlin — Johannes Reuchlin. Johannes Reuchlin (n. el 29 de enero de 1455 en Pforzheim † el 30 de junio de 1522 en Stuttgart, también llamado: Johann Reuchlin) fue un filósofo y humanista alemán profundamente interesado en la Cábala judía. Es conocido como …   Wikipedia Español

  • Johannes Reuchlin —     Johannes Reuchlin     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Johannes Reuchlin     (Grecized, Capnion).     Celebrated German humanist, b. at Pforzheim, Baden, 22 February, 1455; d. at Liebenzell, 30 June, 1522. He studied at Freiburg, Paris, and Basle,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Johannes Vergenhans — Johannes Nauclerus Johannes Nauclerus (* 1425; † 5. Januar 1510 in Tübingen; eigentlich Johannes Vergenhans) war ein deutscher Gelehrter, Jurist, Theologe und Historiker. Als Vertrauter Graf Eberhards im Bart war er nach Gründung der Universität… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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