The Christian Polemic Against the Jews in the Middle Ages
Gilbert Dahan offers a compact overview of Jewish conditions in medieval Western Christendom, then moves to a discussion of the changing patterns of Christian-Jewish polemical confrontation. Dahan lays particular emphasis on the shift during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries from a fairly open exchange of views to a concerted Christian effort to convert the Jews. After establishing this context, Dahan analyzes the most common literary genres (including disputatio) in which these arguments were couched, their underlying structures and the most important recurring themes. This volume is particularly useful for its clear delineation of the historical phases of Christian polemicizing, its cogent analysis of key aspects of Christian polemical literature, and its rich citation of illustrative texts. /// Whether it be shared examination of the sacred texts or impassioned discussion over the theses belonging to each of the two religions, the Judeo-Christian "dispute" continued throughout the Middle Ages, and seems to be carried on in some way even in the Judeo-Christian dialogue of today.
- Paperback | 90 pages
- 124.46 x 198.12 x 12.7mm | 158.76g
- 03 Nov 1998
- University of Notre Dame Press
- Notre Dame IN, United States
About Gilbert Dahan
Gilbert Dahan is director of research at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in Paris, is also a lecturer at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes where he specializes in the religious sciences. He is an expert of Medieval Western Jewish and Christian Histories and Theologies. Jody Gladding is a freelance translator living in France.
"[A] lucid translation of a standard introduction to the subject which first appeared in French in 1991. The work is strong in its classification of the forms of polemic used..." --Year's Work In Modern Language Studies, 1999, Vol 61 "The publication of this English version of Dahan's study is timely, because he presents a remarkable review of what was happening in the field of Christian polemical literature and a guide for situating individual authors in their historical, social, and theological contexts."--Theological Studies "[T]his concise survey is an extremely valuable resource. Its succinct introduction to the main genres and the translations of representative texts whet the reader's appetite for more information. The footnote references to the primary sources provide a gatewat into a rich storehouse of intriguing literature." --Church History "Openess and the mutual sharing of 'biblical, philosophic and scientific knowledge, ' etc., make the Jewish-Christian dialogue in the twelfth and occasionally even in the thirteenth century perhaps not as different from Jewish-Christian dialogue today as one normally supposes. This discovery makes Dahan's little book interesting and important." --SHOFAR, Summer 2000, Vol. 18, No. 4 "Dahan. . . first corrects some common misconceptions about Jewish-Christian relations in the Middle Ages. Next he looks at the historical context, the legal situation, and the church's decrees protecting the Jews. Then he describes the forms of polemic, especially the disputatio, which often took the form of a dialogue between a Christian and a Jew. He treats the rules of debate; the use of biblical authority and reason; and some themes: the verus Israel, the interpretation of the Bible, and the coming of the Messiah." --Theology Digest "This work invites those seeking a topic for a doctoral dissertation to plunge into some of these sources at a deeper level." --Concordia Theological Seminary "Dahan's study affords us the best available introduction to medieval Christian anti-Jewish polemics and...would serve as a very valuable resource for many graduate courses in medieval studies." --Robert Chazen, New York University, Speculum "The publication of this English version of Dahan's study is timely, because he presents a remarkable review of what was happening in the field of Christian polemical literature and a guide for situating individual authors in their historical, social, and theological contexts." --Theological Studies ..".[A] brief and punchy account of the literature of polemical confrontation in the high Middle Ages...." --Year's Work in English Studies, Vol. 79 No. 3