University of Pennsylvania

Ruderman picture. 1 JPGDavid B. Ruderman is the Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History.  He was also the Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania for twenty years from 1994 to 2014.

He is the author of The World of a Renaissance Jew: The Life and Thought of Abraham b. Mordecai Farissol (Cincinnati, Ohio, Hebrew Union College Press, 1981), for which he received the National Jewish Book Award in history in 1982; Kabbalah, Magic, and Science: The Cultural Universe of a Sixteenth-Century Jewish Physician (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1988); and A Valley of Vision: The Heavenly Journey of Abraham Ben Hananiah Yagel (Philadelphia, Pa., University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990 and also published in Hebrew in 1997). He is co-author, with William W. Hallo and Michael Stanislawski, of the two volume Heritage: Civilization and the Jews Study Guide and Source Reader (New York, Praeger, 1984), prepared in conjunction with the showing of the Public Television series of the same name. He has edited Essential Papers on Jewish Culture in Renaissance and Baroque Italy (New York, New York University Press, 1992), Preachers of the Italian Ghetto (Los Angeles and Berkeley, University of California Press, 1992), The Jewish Past Revisited: Reflections on Modern Jewish Historians [with David Myers] (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1998), Cultural Intermediaries: Jewish Intellectuals in Early Modern Italy [with Giuseppe Veltri] (Philadelphia, Pa., University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) and [with Shmuel Feiner] Early Modern Culture and the Haskalah: Reconsidering the Borderlines of Modern Jewish History [Simon Dubnov Institute Yearbook, 6 (2007): 17-266]. He has also published Jewish Thought and Scientific Discovery in Early Modern Europe (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1995; revised paperback, Detroit, 2001) which has also appeared in Italian, Russian, and Hebrew versions. His book Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key: Anglo-Jewry’s Construction of Modern Jewish Thought published by Princeton University Press in 2000 won the Koret Award for the best book in Jewish History in 2001. His most recent books are Connecting the Covenants: Judaism and the Search for Christian Identity in Eighteenth-Century England (Philadelphia, Pa., University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) and Early Modern Jewry: A New Cultural History (Princeton, 2010; Istanbul, 2013) which also received the National Jewish Book Award in History in 2011. He will publish A Best-Selling Hebrew Book of the Modern Era: The Book of the Covenant of Pinas Hurwitz and its Remarkable Legacy (Seattle and London, University of Washington Press, 2014) in the fall of 2014. He has produced two courses on Jewish history for the Great Courses/ Teaching Company on both medieval and modern Jewish history. Currently, he is working on a book on the Revival of the Jewish Christian Debate in the 19th century

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  • Jewish-Christian Interactions in the Early Modern and Modern Period
  • Anglo-Jewish Thought
  • Early Modern Jewish History and Thought
  • Jewish Culture in Renaissance and Baroque Italy
  • Kabbalah and Science
  • Medicine, Science, and Jewish Culture
  • Print and the Transformation of Jewish Culture