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Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum


INSTITUTUM JUDAICUM DELITZSCHIANUM , institute for the study of Judaism and (in its original form) for missionary activity among the Jews. Connected with the faculties of Protestant theology at German universities, several such institutes came into being. The first one was established at Halle in 1728 by J.H. *Callenberg. It trained missionaries, and a printing office attached to it published Yiddish translations of the New Testament and other Christian literature. This institute was dissolved in 1791. In 1886 Franz *Delitzsch established an institute for training probationers in theology for missionary work among the Jews at Leipzig University in connection with the Lutheran mission to the Jews. It was responsible also for a number of publications, including a Hebrew translation of the New Testament. After Delitzsch's death in 1890 the institute was renamed in his memory. Gustav *Dalman succeeded him as director. The Nazis ordered it closed in 1935, but with the help of missionary societies it reopened in Vienna in December of that year and there celebrated its jubilee in 1936. In 1948, under the direction of K.H. Rengstorf, the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum was reestablished in Munster in conjunction with the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the Westphalian Wilhelm University and since then has served as a research center for both Christian and Jewish scholars. For several years it has published the Studia Delitzschiana and the annual Franz Delitzsch Lectures. Its projects include a German translation of the Tosefta and a Greek concordance to Josephus. Along with similar institutions in Tuebingen, Berlin, and Hamburg, the Institutum played an important role in furthering Christian-Jewish dialogue, although the missionary aim has not been completely abandoned. H.L. *Strack established an Institutum Judaicum in Berlin in 1883, which was responsible for the publication of Strack's Einleitung in den Talmud (1887) as well as German translations of several tractates of the Mishnah. It had missionary interests, but when in 1923 under the direction of Hugo *Gressmann it was made officially part of the theological faculty, missionary activity was expressly excluded. It ceased to function in 1933.


K.H. Rengstorf, Das Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum 18861961 (1963); J.F.A. de le Roi, Die evangelische Christenheit und die Juden (1884); idem, Geschichte der evangelischen Judenmission, 2 (1899); F. Guggenheim-Gruenberg, Pfarrer Ulrich als Missionaer im Surbtal (1953).

[Michael A. Meyer]

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