Stadt ohne Juden? Präsenz in der Absenz zwischen 1397 und 1630

Andreas Gehringer

Despite the physical absence of a Jewish community in early modern Basel, Judaism as such had always been present. It served as protagonist in alleged miracles, as well as subject of interest in humanism and its texts such as Johannes Buxtorf’s Synagoga Judaica. It functioned as the intellectual and economic locomotive during the Hebrew printing era and it visually manifested itself through Hebraic letters in the city walls, since  Jewish tombstones were used to rebuild the destroyed rampart after the devastating earthquake of 1356. Yet, the early modern examination and discussion of Judaism had not been the result of a genuine interest in actual Jewish thinking, traditions, and rituals, but rather the result of a complex, multilevel discourse about Christian self-understanding and its Jewish heritage. The dissertation project aims to examine that very multilevel discourse in order to elaborate on the functions of Judaism in early modern Basel.