SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Medical Reform and Jewish Reform: Two Ottoman-Jewish Physicians Around 1700

Prof. Miriam Shefer Mossensohn, Tel Aviv University

Date: 10 February 2021Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 10 February 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

The lecture will focus on two Jewish physicians of the Ottoman period. Refael Mordekhai Malki (d. 1702), a rabbi and physician in Ottoman Jerusalem, composed in the 1690s a vast Torah commentary in Hebrew, calling for medical reform. Tobias Cohen (d. 1729), a physician at the Ottoman Sultan's court, published his Ma’aseh Tuviyya, "The Work of Tobias", in Venice in 1708. It is a medical compendium with a new mechanical understanding of the human body.The lecture will investigate the mind-set of these two rather conservative and cautious scholars who, on the threshold of modernity, advocated profound changes along two axes, the Jewish-communal and medical-universal realms.

Miriam Shefer Mossensohn is Professor of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University and Head of the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies. She is an early-modern Ottomanist, focusing on Islamicate medicine, health and wellbeing. Her publications include  After Ottoman Medicine: Healing and Medical Institutions 1500-1700 (State University of New York Press, 2009) and Science among the Ottomans: The Cultural Creation and Exchange of Knowledge (the University of Texas Press, 2015). Her current research explores how medicine was managed, organized, and supervised in the Ottoman Empire of the early modern period.

Register for the lecture on Eventbrite.