Skip to main content

Wagenseil, Johann Christoph°

WAGENSEIL, JOHANN CHRISTOPH°

WAGENSEIL, JOHANN CHRISTOPH ° (1633–1705), Christian Hebraist. While professor at the University of Altdorf, he published a series of writings on Judaism and the Jews whose missionary intention is manifest. His most important work was Tela ignea Satanae, Hoc est: arcani, et horribles Judaeorum adversus Christum Deum et Christianam religionem libri ("Flaming Arrows of Satan; that is, the secret and horrible books of the Jews against Christ, God, and the Christian religion"; Altdorf, 1681), a collection of works written by Jews for use in Jewish-Christian disputations and controversies. Wagenseil published these for the first time, with a Latin translation and his own introduction, with the intention of making Christians aware of the Jewish objections to Christianity and thus to refute them. Since this compilation of Jewish polemical writings made Jewish criticism of Christianity widely known, it was used in anti-Jewish propaganda, but these same criticisms were also employed by some opponents of religious fanaticism, such as *Voltaire and the Encyclopedists. Later, in Denunciatio christiana de blasphemiis Judaeorum in Jesum Christum (Altdorf, 1703), Wagenseil appealed to the Protestant rulers to prevent the Jews from blaspheming Christianity and to try to convert them (though without persecutions and forcible means, to which he was opposed). A varied collection of essays on Jewish matters, Benachrichtigungen wegen einiger die gemeine Juedischkeit betreffenden Sachen (Leipzig, 1705), included a missionary essay and a work against *blood libel.

Earlier in his life Wagenseil published Latin translations of the mishnaic tractate Sotah (Altdorf, 1675) and extracts from the Talmud and Ein Ya'akov with the sources. Corrections to Sefer ha-Niẓẓaḥon by Yom Tov Lippmann Muelhausen are incorporated at the end of this book. In his determination to understand Judaism in all its ramifications, Wagenseil learned Yiddish and studied its literature. His collection, Belehrung der juedisch-teutschen Red- und Schreibart (Koenigsberg, 1699), includes Passover songs in Yiddish, the Megillat Vinz of Elhanan b. Abraham Hellen (describing the *Fettmilch uprising in Frankfurt), a Yiddish version of the Arthurian legend, and a Yiddish version of Hilkhot Derekh Ereẓ Rabbah ve-Zuta. Wagenseil was on friendly terms with some Jews, and an interesting correspondence with his teachers has survived. Considered the father of Scandinavian Hebrew studies, he trained a group of Hebrew scholars who were interested in acquiring information on Judaism, such as J.J. *Schudt.

bibliography:

J. Weissberg, in: Zeitschrift fuer Deutsche Sprache, 25 (1969), 154–68; Graetz, Hist, 5 (1895), 185–8; H. Thompson, Wagner and Wagenseil (1927); B. Weinryb, in: Gedank un Leben, 2 (1944), 109–18; H.J. Schoeps, Philosemitismus im Barock (1952), index; Fuerst, Bibliotheca, 489; adb.

[Judah M. Rosenthal]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Wagenseil, Johann Christoph°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 May. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Wagenseil, Johann Christoph°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 21, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wagenseil-johann-christophdeg

"Wagenseil, Johann Christoph°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved May 21, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wagenseil-johann-christophdeg

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.