Abstract

In the second decade of the eighteenth century, a trial unfolded in the city of Prague that challenged the transnational philanthropic ties of Jews. Beginning as a dispute between a creditor from Ottoman Palestine and Prague’s chief rabbi, David Oppenheim, the affair soon took on interconfessional dimensions, engaging the proprietor of Prague’s coffeehouse, a Jesuit censor of Hebraica, and the agents of the Habsburg monarchy. The dispute’s unfolding in the legal arena offered opportunity for polemic and created a context in which claims about Jewish loyalty, belonging, and trustworthiness could be publicly interrogated in light of conversionary agendas and jurisdictional contests over the power—and control—of the printed word and of Jewish global networks.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2028
Print ISSN
0021-6704
Pages
pp. 109-138
Launched on MUSE
2014-06-12
Open Access
No
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