Tal Kogman published recently two articles on the role of science and scientific knowledge in eighteenth and nineteenth century Hebrew print culture. Both articles express her continued interest in Jewish scientific education and Jewish scientific culture, as also manifested in her book The ‘Maskilim’ in the Sciences: Jewish Scientific Education in the German-Speaking Sphere in Modern Times (המשכילים במדעים: חינוך יהודי למדעים במרחב דובר הגרמנית בעת החדשה) published by Magnes Press in 2013. These two articles also relate to her current research on traditional and modern values in textbooks and other educational media for Hebrew instruction.
Both articles address the novel character of Hebrew scientific literature and the significant contributions of the Haskalah movement to Jewish attitudes towards science by re-drawing the line between ‘Jewish’ and ‘foreign’ knowledge.
Tal Kogman’s contribution to Jewish Culture and History elaborates on Hebrew science literature between the last third of the eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. Hebrew print culture saw significant changes in this time. The last third of the eighteenth century saw an increase in publications, in part due to efforts of the Haskalah to revive Hebrew as the cultural language of the Jews which found its expression in the establishment of a “Library of the Haskalah“.
In her contribution to the Leo Baeck Institute’s 2017 Yearbook, Tal Kogman discusses rabbinic attitudes toward Hebrew scientific literature based on a thorough examination of Haskamot, or rabbinic approbations. The approach situated Maskilic scientific publication in the broader history of Hebrew print culture and its mechanisms. Haskamot gave legitimacy to Jewish books by means of rabbinic authorities. Approaching Hebrew printing and Maskilic scientific literature through Haskamot offer a unique perspective on the attitude of eighteenth and nineteenth century rabbinic authorities toward science and on the interaction between Rabbis and Maskilic authors.
Tal Kogman, The Emergence of Scientific Literature in Hebrew for Children and Youth in the Nineteenth Century: Preliminary Directions for Research. In: Jewish Culture and History 17 (3) (2016), 249-263.
Tal Kogman, Science and the Rabbis: Haskamot, Haskalah, and the Boundaries of Jewish Knowledge in Scientific Hebrew Literature and Textbooks. In: Leo Baeck Institute Year Book (2017), 1-15.