Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Religious Tolerance Continued

In the last post, we mentioned Tayor's attributing of a story about Abraham by the Persian poet Saadi to rabbinic sources. This we can trace to Taylor's reading of Gentius's (who, as did other scholars of the era-such as Grotius-Latinised his name. Gentius's given name was Georg Gentze) Historia Judaica, a translation of Rabbi Solomon Ibn Verga's Shevet Yehuda (or Scepter of Judah). One reader mentioned that George Alexander Kohut offers a plausible explanation for Gentius's interesting scholarly oversight in inserting the Saadi story into Historia Judaica. The article is reproduced below.

For information on Gentius which was well nigh impossible to find online, i turned to one of the definitive books on Early Modern Hebraism: Aaron L. Katchen's Christian Hebraists and Dutch Rabbis: Seventeenth Century Apologetics and the Study of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah. It's seriously one of my favourite books!

Another reader expressed curiosity about Gentius, which i found in Katchen's book. I've (rather poorly) scanned some biographical information that Katchen provides about Gentius, which can read here. Katchen also discusses the Abraham story, which is also available here.

Below is the article by Kohut, published in 1902:
Abraham's Lesson in Tolerance

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