ISRAEL, Jonathan


Jonathan Irvine Israel (born in 1946) is the Modern European History Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and one of the world’s leading historians of the Enlightenment. Israel received his Ph.D. from Oxford in 1972. His work is concerned with European and European colonial history from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century. His recent work focuses on the impact of radical thought (especially Spinoza, Bayle, Diderot, and the eighteenth-century French materialists) on the Enlightenment and on the emergence of modern ideas of democracy, equality, toleration, freedom of the press, and individual freedom. His books include European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550–1750 (1985); The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall, 1477–1806 (1995); Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650–1750 (2001); Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670–1752 (2006); and A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (2009). Israel was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1992, Corresponding Fellow of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) in 1994, won the American Historical Association’s Leo Gershoy Prize in 2001, and was made Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2004. In 2008, he won the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for history, medicine, environmental studies and cognitive science. In 2010 he was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) for his outstanding contribution to Enlightenment scholarship.