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Paulus Stephanus Cassel

CASSEL, PAULUS STEPHANUS (Selig; 1821–1892), German theologian and historian; brother of David *Cassel. Cassel took rabbinical studies as well as philosophy and history in Berlin, the latter in particular under Leopold von Ranke. He wrote a study of Jewish history from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 to 1847 for the Allgemeine Encyklopaedie der Wissenschaften und Kuenste… published by J.S. Ersch and J.G. Gruber (2nd series, vol. 27), the first historical examination of the subject to rely extensively on non-Jewish sources and take into account political and social considerations. From 1850 to 1856 Cassel was editor of the Erfurter Zeitung. After his conversion to Christianity in 1855 he was appointed librarian at the Royal Library and secretary of the Erfurt Academy of Sciences. In 1866 and 1867 he was returned as conservative member to the Prussian Landtag. From 1868 to 1891 he was mainly concerned with his duties as preacher at the Christuskirche in Berlin and as a missionary for the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews. However he combated antisemitic allegations and directed a pamphlet against the anti-Jewish literary campaign of Heinrich von *Treitschke (1880). He also responded to the antisemitic charges made by E. von Hartmann, A. *Stoecker, and Richard *Wagner, and published a brochure entitled Die Anti-semiten und die evangelische Kirche (1881). In the field of biblical research he wrote on the Books of Judges and Ruth (1865), Esther (1878), and on the Targum Sheni to Esther (1885).


R. Heuer (ed.), Lexikon deutsch-juedischer Autoren, 5 (1997), 38–47; A.T. Levenson, Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism, 132–37.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.