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Title: An Englishman of the Jewish persuasion : Claude Montefiore, Christianity and Liberal Jewish thought
Author: Langton, Daniel Robert
ISNI:       0000 0001 3604 9971
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis attempts to place Claude Montefiore in the context of Jewish thought during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (chapter one), before considering in what ways he was profoundly influenced by his Christian surroundings (chapter two). As an intellectual history of a Jewish religious thinker, it focuses upon his thought rather than upon his life story. In particular, it seeks to demonstrate that Montefiore's own personal conception of Liberal Judaism should be regarded as more than simply a progressive Jewish denomination, and rather as an attempt to re-mould Reform Judaism in terms of, or with special reference to, contemporary liberal Christianity. Montefiore's fascination with the relationship between Christianity and Judaism means that a large proportion of the thesis concentrates upon his approach to the two central figures of Jewish-Christian dialogue, namely Jesus (chapter three) and Paul (chapter four). These last two chapters are thematic in character and should be regarded as comparative studies in which Montefiore's theology and scholarship are contrasted with those of other Jewish thinkers. It is suggested that his utilisation of New Testament study as an opportunity to propound his Liberal Jewish agenda was made all the more remarkable by the extent to which he incorporated the teachings of both Jesus and Paul into his own ethical and theological musings. As a British intellectual Jew living in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the challenges facing Claude Montefiore and his conception of 'the Englishman of the Jewish persuasion' included, firstly, the general threat of modernity and the consequent challenge of religious apathy. Secondly, the related conflict between nationalist and non-nationalist conceptions of Jewishness. Thirdly, the question of how to reconcile loyalty to Judaism with admiration of the cultural, theological achievements of the surrounding Christian environment. Fourthly, and lastly, the need to correct anti-Jewish biblical scholarship. It is argued here that the formation of Anglo-Liberal Judaism and the development of its distinctive theological views came about as the result of one man's highly individualised response to these historically conditioned dilemmas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History