Resisting Secularism? Grace Aguilar and Isaac Leeser on English Bibles

By Andrea Schatz

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Spring 2011

From the start, the Bible was a major focus of secularizing efforts and a site where their paradoxical character became quite apparent. Critical study of the text intended to liberate the original from unintelligible layers of tradition while creating new authorities and rules that would control the interpretation of the text. Translations aimed to make the Bible universally accessible also led to new divisions between experts and those who were expected to look for the experts' guidance. In Jewish contexts, too, we find vivid debates about the critical study of the Bible and its translation into the vernaculars but they unfold as extended commentaries on the implications of secularism rather than as secularizing trends in themselves. In this articles, the author reflects on the Bible as a "readable" text as published in 1842 by Grace Aguilar, Anglo-Jewish novelist and essayist, in her Spirit of Judaism.

Topic: Literature, Tradition, Jewish Text, Religion, Secularism

Name of Publication: AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies

Editor: Bunzl, Matti , Havrelock, Rachel

Volume/Issue: Spring 2011

Page Number(s): 10-11

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United Kingdom

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Schatz, Andrea. Resisting Secularism? Grace Aguilar and Isaac Leeser on English Bibles. AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Spring 2011: 10-11. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=12007


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