Historical discussions about German Pietism's posture toward Jews underlined Pietists' attempts at their conversion as the dominant feature of their relationship. Contesting orthodoxy, Pietists favored a lenient attitude toward Jews, arguing that their change of heart might hasten salvation. However, revisiting Pietists' texts, I argue that from the late seventeenth century on, these awakened Protestants acknowledged the improbability of conversion. By the new meaning they gave to religious adherence, Pietists believed that mere baptism would not turn Jews into Christians. In fact, as they developed closer acquaintance with Jews, they came to realize that their efforts at mission would not succeed. More than any other confessional strand, Pietists conceptualized Jews not merely as those who denied Christ as the messiah. They also came to see the Jews as a people whose belief in God crossed beyond religious devotion into a unique, inalterable culture, and who therefore should be constructively tolerated.
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