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Christian Polemic against the Jews in the Middle Ages

The Christian Polemic against the Jews in the Middle Ages

Gilbert Dahan
Translated by Jody Gladding

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.

ISBN: 978-0-268-00830-7
144 pages
Publication Year: 1998

Gilbert Dahan is director of research at the Centre National de Recherché 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.

“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

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The Christian Polemic against the Jews in the Middle Ages

Gilbert Dahan
Translated by Jody Gladding

The Christian Polemic against the Jews in the Middle Ages
Paper Edition

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.

ISBN: 978-0-268-00830-7

144 pages

“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