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A Remembrance of His Wonders

Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz

In A Remembrance of His Wonders, David I. Shyovitz uncovers the sophisticated ways in which medieval Ashkenazic Jews engaged with the workings and meaning of the natural world, and traces the porous boundaries between medieval science and mysticism, nature and the supernatural, and ultimately, Christians and Jews.

Author Information

David I. Shyovitz teaches history and Jewish studies at Northwestern University.


"A Remembrance of His Wonders is an excellent achievement that deals with central research questions regarding the understanding of the wondrous in nature by the Jews of Ashkenaz. David I. Shyovitz presents fascinating parallels between the writings of the German Pietists and contemporary Christian texts, showing that their understandings of nature are quite similar."—Israel Yuval, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"This book advances a bold and original interpretation of Jewish engagement with the natural world in the Middle Ages . . . Ultimately Shyovitz does more than simply show that Jews in French- and German- speaking Europe studied the natural world; he suggests that their works had an afterlife. He shows that Jewish thinkers from throughout the early modern world read, internalized, and applied the insights of the medieval Ashkenazic forebears. Thanks to Shyovitz's hard work, clear writing, and keen historical sense, the texts he unearthed
and presented to a broad academic readership have earned multiple afterlives, not only in later Jewish writings but in modern scholarship as well."—Isis

Audience: College/higher education;