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Title: Visions of citizenship and state : debating Jews and Judaism in eighteenth-century Prussia
Author: Bedoyere, Michael de la
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 4022
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This dissertation explores debates about Jews and Judaism in eighteenth-century Prussia. Methodologically, it adopts the contextual approach associated with the Cambridge School of intellectual history, exploring the complex connection between attitudes towards Jews, and the intellectual influences of the eighteenth-century German Enlightenment. It builds upon recent scholarship which stresses the importance of seeing eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German Jewry in its own terms and not through the lens of the Holocaust. The primary aim of this dissertation is to show that the eighteenth century witnessed a remarkable transformation in perceptions of Jews and Judaism - a transformation which helped lay the groundwork for the Jewish entry into modernity. By treating the entire chronological span of the eighteenth century, this study not only sheds new light on familiar terrain, such as Christian Wilhelm von Dohm's famous plea for emancipation; it also addresses themes which have largely been neglected. Chapter 1 investigates the origins of the eighteenth-century Jewish question, exploring early modern German responses to the experience of Jewish social mobility. Chapter 2 examines and conceptualises mid-eighteenth-century utilitarian arguments for toleration vis-à-vis Jews. Chapter 3 offers a reassessment of Dohm's humanitarian arguments for emancipation. Chapter 4 treats the debate about Jewish military service. Chapter 5 studies Immanuel Kant's influence on late eighteenth-century controversies about Jewish religious reform.
Supervisor: Robertson, Ritchie Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: German History ; Intellectual History ; Jewish History