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Abigail Gillman’s book takes as its starting point the remarkable fact that, between 1780 and 1937, German Jewry produced sixteen new translations of the Hebrew Bible into German. Translation gave Jews controlled access to their scripture in the new vernacular without the use of Christian translations. Moreover, in a society that put a premium on literary taste and aesthetic education, translation aimed to enhance the Hebrew text and showcase scripture as a great work of literature. Translation would make it possible for the Hebrew Bible?religious and national ?Urtext,” a bridge to Christianity, and an established part of the European canon?to remain the foundational text of modern Jewish identity. ?A History of German Jewish Bible Translation” is the first book in English to analyze representative German Jewish translations, as well as important Yiddish-language Bibles, as part of an evolving cultural project. The broad context for Gillman’s analysis is the return to the Hebrew Bible by Jews throughout western and central Europe?a widespread phenomenon that took the form of scholarship, sermons, and visual art and literature, as well as translations. But why so many translations? Gillman argues that values in Christian society and in Jewish society?values such as ennoblement through culture, self-expansion, and fidelity?created the conditions for an unprecedented series of translations. Translators sought to impart their visions of Judaism to the population at large and also worked through theological and ideological problems. Gillman’s history of successive translations teaches us what kinds of opportunities and problems the Bible created for different generations, providing a unique perspective on modern German Jewish history.
Number of Pages: 332
Genre: Religion + Beliefs, History, Literary Criticism
Sub-Genre: German, History
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Abigail Gillman
Street Date: April 27, 2018
Item Number (DPCI): 248-50-3256
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