Obscurantism (/ɵbˈskjʊərəntɪsm/) is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or the full details of some matter from becoming known. There are two common historical and intellectual denotations to Obscurantism: (1) deliberately restricting knowledge—opposition to the spread of knowledge, a policy of withholding knowledge from the public; and, (2) deliberate obscurity—an abstruse style (as in literature and art) characterized by deliberate vagueness. The name comes from French: obscurantisme, from the Latin obscurans, ""darkening"".The term obscurantism derives from the title of the 16th-century satire Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum (Letters of Obscure Men), based upon the intellectual dispute between the German humanist Johann Reuchlin and Dominican monks, such as Johannes Pfefferkorn, about whether or not all Jewish books should be burned as un-Christian. Earlier, in 1509, the monk Pfefferkorn had obtained permission from Maximilian I (1486–1519), the Holy Roman Emperor, to incinerate all copies of the Talmud (Jewish law and Jewish ethics) known to be in the Holy Roman Empire (AD 926–1806); the Letters of Obscure Men satirized the Dominican monks' arguments at burning ""un-Christian"" works.In the 18th century, Enlightenment philosophers used the term ""obscurantism"" to denote the enemies of the Enlightenment and its concept of the liberal diffusion of knowledge. Moreover, in the 19th century, in distinguishing the varieties of obscurantism found in metaphysics and theology from the ""more subtle"" obscurantism of the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and of modern philosophical skepticism, Friedrich Nietzsche said: ""The essential element in the black art of obscurantism is not that it wants to darken individual understanding, but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world, and darken our idea of existence.""