How did different Jewish scholars react to biblical criticism, especially in the Haskalah (Jewish enlightenment) and in the German Science of Judaism (Wissenschaft des Judentums) movements? Why did Solomon Schechter famously consider higher criticism, the idea that the Torah is comprised of discrete, humanly authored sources, to be higher antisemitism? Was his attitude typical of the time?
Jewish scholars grappled with biblical criticism from soon after it was developed by Catholic and Protestant scholars in the 17th and 18th centuries. For some, it is fundamentally incompatible with Judaism, others have adopted it wholeheartedly, while still others have tried to develop a type of distinctively Jewish biblical criticism.
This series explores the range of Jewish attitudes toward biblical criticism at different times in Europe, the United States and Israel by exploring the thought of a diverse range of rabbis, thinkers, scholars, academics, and educators.