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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15Focusing on Jewish Religious Life, 1500-1900$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774716

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774716.001.0001

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Polish Attitudes towards Jewish Spirituality in the Eighteenth Century

Polish Attitudes towards Jewish Spirituality in the Eighteenth Century

(p.77) Polish Attitudes towards Jewish Spirituality in the Eighteenth Century
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15

Judith Kalik

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes Polish attitudes towards Jewish spirituality during the eighteenth century. The chief characteristic of the Polish conception of the Jewish religion, at least as it was captured in writing, was that it was not a specifically Polish construct but was imported from western Europe or had migrated to Poland with the Jews themselves. The official Christian doctrine was formulated in literary works written by clerics, polemic and homiletic literature, pastoral epistles, and synodal legislation. The popular Christian conception of Judaism, which differed substantially from official Church doctrine, was also practically identical in all its components to the popular, stereotypical view of Judaism widespread in the West. This conception was formulated mainly in works written by burghers, who used popular religious stereotypes in their attacks on their economic competitors, the Jews.

Keywords:   Polish attitudes, Jewish religion, Jewish spirituality, Christian doctrine, Judaism

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