Milan Žonca

PhDr. Milan Žonca, Ph.D. (1985)


Milan Žonca is a cultural and intellectual historian of Judaism. He studied Hebrew Studies and Religious Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague and completed his PhD in History at Queen Mary, University of London under the supervision of Professor Miri Rubin in 2015. He has been postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Philosophy since 2016. He is also affiliated with the Department of Middle Eastern Studies of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague as a lecturer in Hebrew and Jewish Studies (since 2014) and with the University Centre for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought (since 2016).

His research focuses on Jewish intellectual and cultural history in the Late Middle Ages, the reception of Aristotelian thought in medieval Judaism, especially in Central Europe, Jewish theories of learning, as well as medieval Jewish-Christian polemic and inter-religious interaction in religious thought and practice.



Nachmanidovy polemiky [The Polemics of Naḥmanides] (Praha: Academia, 2012), ISBN 978-80-200-2208-0, 260pp.

A study of the engagement of Moses ben Naḥman (Naḥmanides, 1195–1270) in the Maimonidean controversy in the 1230s and in the 1263 Barcelona disputation with the convert Paul Christian, accompanied by translations of his texts relating to these episodes.


“Menaḥem ben Jacob Shalem and the Study of Philosophy in Late Medieval Prague”, in: Ota Pavlíček (ed.), Studying the Arts in Late Medieval Bohemia (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming).

“Avigdor Ḳara’s Appeal Reconsidered: A Transcription and English Translation of a Begging Letter Written by a Late Medieval Scholar from Prague”, Judaica Bohemiae, 54:2 (2019), 31–48.

„Jüdische Siegel und Stempel aus Dambořitz“ (with Tereza Dlesková and Pavel Kocman), Judaica Bohemiae, 54:1 (2019), 67–92.

‘The “Imagined Communities” of Yom Ṭov Lipman Mühlhausen: Heresy and Communal Boundaries in Sefer Niẓẓaḥon’, in: Christoph Cluse and Lukas Clemens (eds.), European Jewry Around 1400 (Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz, 2018), 95–119.

‘“…And Order Was Upset”: Easter, the Eucharist, and the Jews of Prague, 1389’, in: Jonathan Adams and Cordelia Heß (eds.), The Medieval Roots of Antisemitism: Continuities and Discontinuities from the Middle Ages to the Present Day (New York: Routledge, 2018), 287–305.

‘Židovská konverze ke křesťanství ve středověku mezi metaforou a realitou’ [‘Jewish Conversion to Christianity in the Middle Ages Between Metaphor and Reality’], Religio 25:2 (2017), 189–204

‘Několik poznámek k intelektuálnímu profilu Avigdora Kary’ [‘Some Remarks on the Intellectual Profile of Avigdor Kara’], in: Daniel Boušek, Magdalena Křížová, Pavel Sládek (eds.), Dvarim meatim:Studie pro Jiřinu Šedinovou [Festschrift for Jiřina Šedinová] (Praha: Faculty of Arts, 2016), 35–56.

Ph.D. thesis

Difference and Intellectual Diversity in Late-Medieval Ashkenaz, 1350–1500 (PhD thesis, Queen Mary, University of London, 2015), 296pp.

Supervisor: Prof Miri Rubin

Examiners: Prof Ada Rapoport-Albert (UCL), Prof Israel J. Yuval (Jerusalem)


„Ephraim Kanarfogel, The Intellectual History and Rabbinic Culture of Medieval Ashkenaz“, Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought , 2 (2013), 232–238.

„Paola Tartakoff, Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Crown of Aragon, 1250–1391“, Parergon, 30 (2013), 280–282.

„Joseph Canning, Ideas of Power in the Late Middle Ages, 1296–1417“, Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought, 1 (2012), 261–264.

„Jiřina Šedinová et al., Dialog myšlenkových proudů středověkého judaismu: Mezi izolací a integrací“, Asian and African Studies , 20 (2011), 301–302.

„Zdeněk Müller, Jeruzalém mezi minulostí a budoucností“, Nový Orient, 59 (2004), 63.

Research projects

Junior Team Member, University Centre for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought (UNCE/HUM/016) (2018–)

Academic collaborator, The Reflection of Interreligious Relations in Medieval Aragon in the Works of Solomon ibn Adret and Profiat Duran, Czech Science Foundation (GAČR) research project no. 15-09766S (2015–2017)

Academic collaborator, Jewish Philosophical and Religious Thought, Czech Science Foundation (GAČR) research project no. 401/08/0426, (2008–2013)

Conference papers (selection)

The Old Law in Bohemian Reform Discourse: Matthias of Janov on Jews and Judaism

‘Thinking with and against the Jews. Christian Understandings of the Old Law, 1100-1500’, Queen Mary University of London, 7–8 November 2019

Polemical Motifs in Yom Tov Lipman Mühlhausen’s Sefer nizahon

‘Religionsgespräche und Religionspolemik in Mittelalter’, Tagung des Konstanzer Arbeitskreises für mittelalterliche Geschichte, Reichenau, 8–11 October 2019

Christianity and Christians in Yom Tov Lipmann Mühlhausen’s Sefer Niẓaḥon

XIth Congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies, Kraków, 15–19 July 2018

Yom Tov Lipmann Mühlhausen and his 1399 ‘Disputation’ with Pessah/Peter

Disruption and Resilience in Later Medieval Ashkenaz: Jewish Experience and Jewish Reactions, 1350–1520, Universität Trier, 9–10 July 2018

Menahem ben Jacob Shalem and the Study of the Guide of the Perplexed in 1 5th-Century Ashkenaz

17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 6 August 2017

The Soul in Philosophical Critique of Kabbalah in Late-Medieval Ashkenaz

‘A Key to the Soul: Philosophical Knowledge, Spiritual Life, and Religious Identity in Medieval Judaism (1250–1600)’, Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, 12-13 June 2017.

Greek Wisdom in Jerusalem: Medieval Jewish Encounters with Aristotelian Texts in and Around Prague

‘Studying the Arts in Medieval Bohemia: Production, Reception and Transmission of Knowledge at the Arts Faculty of Prague University in the Middle Ages’, 2nd Annual Meeting of Societas Artistarum, Prague, 9 December 2016.

The Three Faces of a Jewish Scholar: The Jewish Community of Prague and the Intellectual Landscape of Late-Medieval Ashkenaz

‘Intervowen Regional Worlds: Jews and Christians in Bavaria, Bohemia and Austria (1349-1648)’, Conference organised by the Seminar for History at LMU Munich in cooperation with the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Regensburg, 13 September 2016.

Jewish-Christian Polemic and Violence in Fourteenth-Century Prague

‘The Medieval Roots of Antisemitism’, The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, Stockholm, 9 February 2015

The Discourses of Heresy in Yom Tov Lipman Mühlhausen’s Sefer Niẓaḥon

Xth Congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies, Paris, 24 July 2014.

Nuancing the Errors of the Jews: Talmud and Heresy in the 13th and 14th-century Anti-Jewish Polemics

International Medieval Congress 2014, University of Leeds, Leeds, 9 July 2014.

Jews as Members of the Urban Community in Pre-Hussite Prague

‘Jews in Medieval Town: Urban Space in the Middle Ages – A Place of Coexistence and Conflicts’, Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic & Centre for Medieval Studies, Prague; 28 November 2013.

The ‘Imagined Communities’ of Yom Tov Lipman Mühlhausen: Heresy and Communal Boundaries in Sefer Nizahon

‘European Jewry Around 1400: Disruption, Crisis, and Resilience’, Arye Maimon-Institut für Geschichte der Juden, Universität Trier, Germany, 2 October 2013.

Israel ben Abraham: An Ashkenazic Translator of Latin Scholastic Texts?

‘The Jews and the Sciences’, The British Association of Jewish Studies Annual Conference, University College London, 28 June 2012.

Rationalism and Heresy: Jews in the Intellectual Landscape of Late Fourteenth-Century Prague

German History Society Annual General Meeting, King’s College, London; 9 September 2011.