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Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment$
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Michael Hunter and David Wootton

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198227366

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227366.001.0001

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Jewish Anti-Christian Arguments as a Source of Irreligion from the Seventeenth to the Early Nineteenth Century

Jewish Anti-Christian Arguments as a Source of Irreligion from the Seventeenth to the Early Nineteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.159) 6 Jewish Anti-Christian Arguments as a Source of Irreligion from the Seventeenth to the Early Nineteenth Century
Source:
Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment
Author(s):

Richard H. Popkin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227366.003.0007

This chapter examines an important source of anti-Christian ideas on the circulation of Jewish polemics against Christianity during the early nineteenth century. Christian intellectuals generally believed that the Last Judgement should be preceded by the conversion of the Jews. This led to the circulation of Jewish religious polemics, which their enemies believed they should be familiar with in order to refute them. The discussion explains the stages by which the writings of authors such as Saul Levi Mortera and Isaac Orobio de Castro entered general circulation in manuscript and in print. Jewish texts were not only the open anti-Christian treatises in circulation during the Enlightenment. There were also various subversive compilations such as the Theophrastus redivivus and the Traité des trois imposteurs.

Keywords:   Mortera, Orobio de Castro, Jewish texts, anti-Christian treatises, Theophrastus redivivus

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