Fashioning Jewish Identity in Medieval Western Christendomby Robert Chazan
Pub. Date: 12/31/2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Five twelfth- and thirteenth-century polemicists from southern France and northern Spain are the first known Jewish polemicists from western Christendom, who identified major Christian challenges, as well as appropriate responses for fellow Jews under ever-increasing religious pressure. This analysis suggests that the Jewish polemicists ultimately attempted to offer their followers a significantly contrasting portrait of Christian and Jewish society: the former as powerful but irrational and morally debased; the latter as weak, but profoundly rational and morally elevated.
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Table of ContentsForeword; Short titles for frequently cited texts; Introduction; Part I. Backdrop: 1. Jesus and the Jews: the gospel accounts; 2. Post-Gospel Christian argumentation: continuities and expansions; 3. Pre-twelfth-century Jewish argumentation; Part II. Data and Foundations: 4. The Jewish polemicists of southern France and northern Spain; 5. Scriptural and alternative lines of argumentation; Part III. Jesus as Messiah: 6. Biblical prophecy: messianic advent; 7. Biblical prophecy: the Messiah reviled and vindicated; Part IV. Rejection of the Messiah and Rejection of the Jews: 8. Biblical prophecy and empirical observation: displacement of the Jews; 9. Biblical prophecy: redemption of the Jews; 10. Biblical prophecy and empirical observation: Christian failures; Part V. The Messiah Human and Divine: 11. Biblical prophecy: the Messiah human and divine; 12. Human reason: the Messiah human and divine; Part VI. Jewish Polemicists on the Attack: 13. Christian Scripture and Jesus; 14. Comparative behaviors: Jewish achievement and Christian shortcoming; Part VII. Underlying Issues: 15. Techniques of persuasion; 16. Fashioning identities: other and self; Bibliography; Index of subjects and proper names; Scripture index.
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