The purpose of our project LATTAL is to edit and publish the largest extant collection of Talmudic passages translated from Hebrew into Latin, that is, the Extractiones de Talmud, while studying this ground-breaking document in the context of the trial and burning of the Talmud in 1240-42 and its aftermath.
While polemics and dialogue between Judaism and Christianity are as old as the Christian religion itself, one can clearly distinguish different periods, trends and intensities in the relations between the faiths. A significant landmark in this long and complex history is the Latin translation of large sections of the Talmud, the most important Jewish post-biblical text, the basis for the development of Rabbinic Judaism and the most direct descendant of intertestamentarian Phariseism.
When during the 13th century Christian theologians started to examine and translate the Talmud from Hebrew and Aramaic into Latin, they were faced with a huge body of texts which represented centuries of legalistic and homiletic materials. The discovery of this immense post-biblical Jewish literature became a source of fascination for Christians who believed that this text, which encompasses every aspect of Jewish life, was fundamental both for refuting the Jewish faith and for substantiating the truth of Christianity. This realization heralded a rethinking of the place of Jews in Christian society and redefined Christian-Jewish dialogue and polemic.
LATTAL addresses vital questions of Jewish and Christian identity, still relevant to the 21st century, and can only be carried out by a transdisciplinary research team including specialists from Latin Philology, Hebrew Studies and History.
"The Latin Talmud and Its Influence on Christian-Jewish Polemic" is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC Grant agreement n° 613694.
Project address: MRA, Campus UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra