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Quakers, Jews, and ScienceReligious Responses to Modernity and the Sciences in Britain, 1650-1900$
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Geoffrey Cantor

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199276684.001.0001

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Jewish Attitudes and Practices

Jewish Attitudes and Practices

(p.289) 8 Jewish Attitudes and Practices
Quakers, Jews, and Science

Geoffrey Cantor (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter opens with a discussion on some of the contexts in which science was deployed intersected with Jewish observance during the 19th century, including calendar-making, the use of electric light on the Sabbath, and the possibility of chemical tests for non-kosher additives to food. During the early 19th century, some Jewish writers followed Christian authors in trying to ascertain the natural philosophy hidden in the Torah text, but this project was largely abandoned by mid-century. In contrast to Quakers, Anglo-Jewry made little use of design arguments, these being directed primarily to children and, on occasions, to working men. Jewish writers on science appear to have been more willing to entertain speculative hypotheses than contemporary Quakers.

Keywords:   Anglo-Jewry, mosaic science, Torah, Jewish calendars, electric light, kosher, empiricism

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