Dr. Avinoam Naeh

Research Fellow

Email: avinoam.naeh@mail.huji.ac.il

Fields of research and scientific biography:
I am a cultural and intellectual historian of Early Modern Europe, specializing in British History. I focus on questions of economic and religious culture, exploring how the profound socioeconomic changes of the 17th and 18th centuries affected religious culture and transformed the ways Europeans engaged with their religious heritage. I am currently embarking on a new project, which explores the mutual relations of commercialism and the Bible in Early Modern English society. The project questions the assumption that economic modernization and secularization are inseparable companions. Instead of a progressive narrative of secularization, I argue that the Bible remained a central lens by which contemporaries made sense of, and adapted to, their rapidly changing economic system.
My book, Economy of Strangers: Jews and Finance in England 1650-1830, is forthcoming at the University of Pennsylvania Press (2023). It explores the ways in which conceptions of Jews and Judaism changed during this period and served as means for Britons to think through on their commercializing society.

Selected Publications: 

  • “The 1753 Jewish Naturalization Bill and the Polemic over Credit,” Journal of British Studies 57.3 (July 2018): 467-492
  • “England, Usury and the Jews in the Mid-Seventeenth-Century,” Journal of Early Modern History 21.6 (2017): 489-515
  • “The Malefactor and the Gentleman: Jewish Criminals in Eighteenth-Century Britain and the Making of British Identity,” Zmanim 125 (2014): 100-109 (Hebrew)
  • “Foreigners at the Gallows: Representing Jewishness in Eighteenth-Century London Crime Literature,” Historia 28 (2012): 55–80 (Hebrew)
  • “Between State and Utopia: The Literary Tales of Pirate John Avery in Early Eighteenth-Century London,” Historia 25 (2010): 43–80 (Hebrew)