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Mediterranean EnlightenmentLivornese Jews, Tuscan Culture, and Eighteenth-Century Reform$
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Francesca Bregoli

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786508

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786508.001.0001

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Five Pious Care and Devotional Literature at the Time of Enlightenment Reform

Five Pious Care and Devotional Literature at the Time of Enlightenment Reform

(p.127) Five Pious Care and Devotional Literature at the Time of Enlightenment Reform
Mediterranean Enlightenment

Francesca Bregoli

Stanford University Press

This chapter bridges the study of individual interactions with outside culture with that of communal responses to Tuscan reform, by investigating the continued importance of piety for educated Jews immersed in the outside world. The first part concentrates on Jewish assistance to the sick and the poor through an exploration of the Livornese Bikur Holim society, showing that changes in Tuscan public health did not diminish the spiritual concerns of benevolent confraternities. The second part evaluates the ways in which traditionally learned physicians, members of the Bikur Holim society, introduced secular themes into devotional settings through a study of the works of Abraham de Bargas and Angelo de Soria. It explores how de Bargas and de Soria negotiated the balance between Jewish culture and "sciences of the gentiles" while working within devotional forms, and which literary and rhetorical strategies allowed them to combine religious and secular forms of knowledge.

Keywords:   confraternities, medicine, devotional literature, piety, public health, Bikur Holim, reforming absolutism

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