Lessons in Contempt

Poul Raeff's Translation and Publication in 1516 of Johannes Pfefferkorn's The Confession of the Jews

By Jonathan Adams

Published in 1516, Poul Raeff's Iudeorum Secreta, a Danish translation of Johannes Pfefferkorn's The Confession of the Jews (Die Judenbeicht), was a landmark in the development of anti-Jewish polemics in Denmark. For the first time, Danes were presented with descriptions of Jewish ceremonies that aimed to portray these practices as dangerously anti-Christian, superstitious, and deviating from 'real' Biblical Judaism. Contemporary Judaism was described as a rabbinical construction that is worthy of nothing but ridicule and mockery. Lessons in Contempt explores this key text that comprises a valuable source for a range of academic disciplines: the history of antisemitism, the study of Jewish-Christian relations, social history, the history of religious culture, and medieval and early modern Danish language and literature. The book includes: an outline of how Jews were portrayed in medieval Danish vernacular literature * a description of Pfefferkorn's life and works * a discussion of Raeff's translation and publication of Iudeorum Secreta * a presentation of the language and style of the Danish version * an edition of the text together with the Latin original, an English translation, and an extensive commentary.


370 pages

Publication Date: 3/1/2013
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9788776746803