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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11Focusing on Aspects and Experiences of Religion$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774051

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774051.001.0001

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Christopher Clark The Politics of Conversion: Missionary Protestantism and the Jews in Prussia 1728–1941

Christopher Clark The Politics of Conversion: Missionary Protestantism and the Jews in Prussia 1728–1941

(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995); pp. 340

Chapter:
Christopher Clark The Politics of Conversion: Missionary Protestantism and the Jews in Prussia 1728–1941
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11
Author(s):

Alan Levenson

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774051.003.0030

This chapter highlights Christopher Clark's The Politics of Conversion: Missionary Protestantism and the Jews in Prussia 1728–1941. This meticulously researched, clearly written history provides the first objective and properly contextualized account of the attempts of one fringe group to bring another fringe group into the bosom of the Church. Anyone desiring a reliable institutional history of the missionary Protestant campaign to convert Prussian Jewry will not need to look beyond this work. The author demonstrates the effect of changing imperial policies, the agenda of the Church at large, and the general economic conditions of Prussia on the fate of the mission to the Jews. Clark examines missionary schools and missionary journals and the distribution of Christian texts and reports on the conversions of nominal Christians to true believers—tales that were directed at the Jews as well as at a Germany that was becoming rapidly secular. Moreover, he subtly places the missionary movement on a continuum from antisemitism to philosemitism.

Keywords:   Christopher Clark, missionary Protestant campaign, Prussian Jewry, Church, Christians, missionary movement, antisemitism, philosemitism, Prussia, missionary Protestantism

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