PSCO Presentation: 11 December, 2014

“William Wotton (1666–1727) and the Christian recovery of the Mishnah in early modern Europe”

David Ruderman (Penn)


David 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. The most recent of his many, many books include Connecting the Covenants: Judaism and the Search for Christian Identity in Eighteenth-Century England (Philadelphia, 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.

Audio Recording

Here is an audio recording of this session.

Suggested Readings

See PSCO Facebook group page for PDF files of selections from William Wotton (1666-1727), including his instructions for educating Christian clergy; the opening of his work on the Mishnah; and his Appendix offering a listing of previous Christian scholars who had worked on rabbinic literature (taken from David Ruderman, Connecting the Covenants, 107ff), and the letter endorsing his translations from the Mishnah by Simon Ockley (1679-1720), the well-known Cambridge professor and Orientalist. If you'd like these materials sent to you by email, please contact Matt Chalmers (

Meeting and Dining

All are welcome! As usual, those interested are also welcome to join us for an informal dinner prior to the session. Those wishing to dine together before the seminar will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the Second-Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall and then walk next door to the food court in Houston Hall. Or, just meet us in the Houston Hall downstairs food-court between 6:00-6:45 p.m.

As usual, the PSCO seminar will begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. We meet in the Second-Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall.