Theses Doctoral

Scientific Authority and Jewish Law in Early Modern Italy

Glasberg Gail, Debra

This dissertation examines the interactions between early modern science and traditional Jewish legal scholarship through the life and work of Italian rabbi and physician Isaac Lampronti (1679-1756). Lampronti produced both the first alphabetically organized encyclopedia (the Paḥad Yiẓḥak) and the first periodical (the Bikurei kaẓir) of rabbinic law, which refashioned the traditional rabbinic system according to scientific methodologies and emerging Enlightenment ideas. Unwilling to relinquish the authorities of either science or traditional Jewish law, Lampronti creatively mediated the tensions between the two. The dissertation shows that the intellectual movements of the period not only catalyzed innovation within the realm of religious belief, they transformed religious practice and study as well.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Carlebach, Elisheva
Smith, Pamela H.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 14, 2016