Jewish Emancipation and the Radical Enlightenment 1780-1800 // Academic Seminar

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Date(s) - 17/08/2017
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Caulfield Campus, Building S, Monash University


Jonathan Israel is Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey. His work is concerned with European and European colonial history from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century.

His books include European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550–1750 (1985); The Dut
ch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall, 1477–1806 (1995); Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650–1750 (2001); Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670–1752 (2006); and A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (2009).

The tumultuous start to the modern age for the Jewish people was accompanied by crucial changes in the late eighteenth century. Earlier, Jews everywhere were a segregated, cordoned off, excluded people subject to a wide range of disabilities and restrictions. The proposed emancipation of the Jews from inferior civil, legal and political status proved increasingly divisive and controversial.

This illustrated lecture will examine the question of why  the principle of full Jewish equality and participation in society and professions as a result of the Enlightenment proved so immensely unsettling and divisive and why it largely failed to succeed during the early and mid nineteenth century.

Room S901/902
Monash Caulfield Campus