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Hebrew Biblical Scholarship from the Enlightenment to the Discovery of the Cairo Geniza - Dr Theodor Dunkelgrün

Dr Dunkelgrün's  research concentrates on Hebrew biblical scholarship during the long century that stretches from the collations of Kennicott to the first edition of Kittel, a neglected but pivotal period in the history of the study of the Hebrew Bible. Focusing on Germany and Britain, and on such scholars as Kennicott, Delitzsch, Wellhausen, Strack, Ginsburg, Blau and Kahle, he explores the ways in which, in the course of the nineteenth century, historical and textual critics of the Hebrew Bible both built on and departed from the early modern scholarly traditions of Humanist philology and antiquarianism, and how those traditions disintegrated into disciplines such as Altertumswissenschaft, classics, archeology, and Morgenländische Wissenschaft.

Dr Dunkelgrün is particularly interested in the confrontation between and cross-fertilization of the study Greco-Roman and biblical antiquity and of Christian and Jewish traditions of textual criticism, as well as in the problem of historicism, the history of libraries, the development of technical, auxiliary disciplines such as paleography and diplomatic, and such wider intellectual contexts as the emergence of the Wissenschaft des Judentums, the impact on academic Hebrew scholarship of the emancipation of European Jewry, and the study by Jewish and Christian scholars of each other’s antiquity.


Research and teaching in the field of Jewish Studies take place in a variety of faculties and departments across the University of Cambridge. The Cambridge Forum for Jewish Studies is an initiative whose objective is to join up this activity and communicate the range of expertise and wealth of research in the field that currently exists in the university. The Forum meets once a term to exchange information and ideas. It is hoped that it will encourage wider participation and a variety of perspectives.

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