Christian Hebraism beyond Protestant Theology:
Law, Politics, Statistics, Art & Language

12th Summer Academy on the History of the
Jews in the Holy Roman Empire and its Successor States

Hamburg, Wolfenbüttel, Mühlhausen

18 – 31 August 2021


The summer academy on the history of the Jews in the Holy Roman Empire and its succesor states was established in 2009 as spin-off product of the research-cluster „The Jewish Holy Roman Empire“. From its inception the main objective of the summer academy has been to acquaint students and early career scholars with an intensive, critical, interdisciplinary, research-oriented and source-based training in the history of the Jews and their relations with the non-Jewish environment in Central Europe from the late 15th century to the present. The programme of the summer academy is focused on, but not limited to the Jewish experience in the Holy Roman Empire.

It comprises altogether four components, each of which consists of at least twelve teaching units of 90 minutes each:

  1. Getting started in Legal History, Reichsgeschichte (History of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation) and Jewish History – Background knowledge and discussion
  2. In-depth teaching units concerning the annually changing special topic
  3. Excursions
  4. Paleography courses

Palaeography courses are offered on demand in six different variants giving the participants the opportunity to acquire or enhance reading skills in original Czech, German, Hebrew, Yiddish, Judaeo-German and Latin sources on different levels.

1) Special Topic of the Summer Academy 2021: Christian Hebraism beyond Protestant Theology: Law, Politics, Ethnography, Statistics, Art, Culture & Language.

In the wake of Renaissance Humanism and the Reformation there had been a rapidly growing interest in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament among Christian scholars. This phenomenon, termed “Christian Hebraism”, has attracted the attention of modern scholarship for a long time. The focus of modern scholarship has been theological, philological, intellectual, 16th and 17th century oriented, yet neither practical, nor interested in the grassroots level, nor that much in the 18th century. Only the Anglo-American academe has moved beyond these confines under the heading of “Political Hebraism”, engaging in the question to what extent the political institutions of Biblical Judaism served as models for early modern politics. In some academic disciplines like international law we can also find references to Jewish models. This year’s summer academy intends to move beyond the traditional perspectives and to broaden both the contents and the social reach of Christian Hebraism. In terms of content the emphasis will be on non-theological topics, like marriage law, ethnography, statistics, architecture, art and culture. To the extent that language is a topic, the focus is on Yiddish rather than Hebrew. Under the heading of the „Jewish desk“ in 17th and 18h century administration and jurisdiction particular emphasis will be given to the modes of reception of Jewish law and culture by the Christian authorities.

2) Faculty

Prof. Dr Yaacov Ariel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Miroslav Barukčić, University of Zurich, Sabine Bloch, Herrsching, Prof. Dr Peter Burschel, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Prof. Dr Andreas Gotzmann, University of Erfurt, Dr André Griemert, Hanau, Ulrich Hausmann, M.A. University of Vienna, Dr Dieter Hecht, University of Vienna, Dr Louise Hecht, University of Salzburg/University of Vienna, Dr Michael Korey, Art Collections of the Free State of Saxony, Dresden, Prof. Dr Astrid Lembke, University of Vienna, Dr Chiara Petrolini, University of Vienna, Prof. Dr Sina Rauschenbach, University of Potsdam, Prof. Dr Tilman Repgen, University of Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Miriam Rürup, Institute for the History of German Jews Hamburg, Berndt Strobach, Wolfenbüttel, Dr Avraham Siluk, Goethe University Frankfurt-on-Main, Prof. Dr Giuseppe Veltri, Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies (MCAS)/University of Hamburg, Dr Stephan Wendehorst, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen/University of Vienna, Dr Helge Wittmann, Municipality of Mühlhausen, Mordechai Zucker, Jerusalem/University of Vienna.

3) Cooperations 2020:

  • Bundsakademie für kulturelle Bildung, Wolfenbüttel
  • Concentration Camp Memorial Site Mittelbau-Dora
  • Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel
  • Institute for the History of the German Jews Hamburg
  • Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies (MCAS) at the University of Hamburg
  • State Archive Hamburg
  • City of Mühlhausen
  • Municipality of Wipperdorf

4) Costs

Overall costs for participation include:

a) Participation fee covering reading material, excursions and entrance fees
    for the entire duration of the summer academy:
    € 340,00 for students & affiliates of cooperating universities and institutions/   
    € 680,00 for external students and other applicants
    Short-time participation for up to five consecutive days (Hamburg orMühlhausen)
    € 140,00 /€ 280,00

b) Board and accommodation covering accommodation and all lunches, coffee breaks and evening         meals on working days

    for the the entire duration of the summer academy (18 until 31 August)
            € 885,00 in a double room, € 1220,00 in a single room

    Short-time participation
    18 – 22 August (Hamburg only)
            € 320,00 in a double room, € 500,00 in a single room

    22 – 29 August (Wolfenbüttel only)
            € 560,00 in a double room, € 700,00 in a single room

    29 – 31 August (Mühlhausen only)
            € 100,00 in a double room , € 150,00 in a single room:

c) For those taking care of accommodation for the entire duration of the summer
academy themselves: Lunches, coffee breaks and evening meals on working days:
            € 300,00

d) In Hamburg all meals will be kosher.

c) Travel expenses
Participants need to take care of their own travel arrangements to and from the summer academy and cover the corresponding costs themselves (all costs for travel during the summer academy, such as the transfers from Hamburg to Wolfenbüttel etc, excursions, museum tickets etc. are covered by the participation fee)

5) Application

Applications are to be submitted by 20 July 2021.
For any information please turn to Dr Stephan Wendehorst at
Only Applications are to be directed to Elke Maria Pani at at the Institute for Legal and Constitutional History of the University of Vienna.

6) Scholarships

Scholarships provided by grants from the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Salo W. Baron Society and other sources worth € 500,00 are available to a restricted number of applicants. Applications for scholarships need to be submitted together with the applications, either by 30 November, 20 February 2021 or 20 June 2021 (or any time before).

In case the summer academy is chancelled because of Covid 19 restrictions at least 85 % of the costs will be reimbursed.

7) Waiver of participation fees

Since the Summer Academy on the History of the Jews in the Holy Roman Empire and its Successor States is acknowledged as a univie: summer school students of the University of Vienna (as well as students of universities which have a strategic partnership with the University of Vienna such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem or the University of Chicago) may apply for a waiver of the participation fee.