Christian Jewish Relations 1000-1300: Jews in the Service of Medieval Christendom, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Christian Jewish Relations 1000-1300

Jews in the Service of Medieval Christendom, 1st Edition

By Anna Sapir Abulafia


288 pages

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The history of relations between Jews and Christians has been a long, complex and often unsettled one; yet histories of medieval Christendom have traditionally paid only passing attention to the role played by Jews in a predominantly Christian society. This book provides an original survey of medieval Christian-Jewish relations encompassing England, Spain, France and Germany, and sheds light in the process on the major developments in medieval history between 1000 and 1300.

Anna Sapir Abulafia's balanced yet humane account offers a new perspective on Christian-Jewish relations by analysing the theological, socio-economic and political services Jews were required to render to medieval Christendom. The nature of Jewish service varied greatly as Christian rulers struggled to reconcile the desire to profit from the presence of Jewish men and women in their lands with conflicting theological notions about Judaism. Jews meanwhile had to deal with the many competing authorities and interests in the localities in which they lived; their continued presence hinged on a fine balance between theology and pragmatism.

The book examines the impact of the Crusades on Christian-Jewish relations and analyses how anti-Jewish libels were used to define relations. Making adept use of both Latin and Hebrew sources, Abulafia draws on liturgical and exegetical material, and narrative, polemical and legal sources, to give a vivid and accurate sense of how Christians interacted with Jews and Jews with Christians.

Table of Contents

Part I: The Antecedents of Jewish Service 1. Augustine and Roman Law 2. Gregory the Great and Canon Law Part II: The Political and Socio-economic Realities of Jewish Service 3. The Jews of Germany 4. The Jews of France 5. The Jews of England 6. The Jews of the Latin Mediterranean Part III: The Religious and Cultural Ambiguities of Jewish Service 7. Jewish Experience of the Crusades 8. Anti-Jewish Libels 9. Conclusion: Jewish Service in Encounters Between Christians and Jews

About the Author

Anna Sapir Abulafia is a Fellow and College Lecturer in History at Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge. She is an international authority on the Christian-Jewish debate and her books on the subject include Christians and Jews in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance (1995) and Christians and Jews in Dispute (1998).

About the Series

The Medieval World

The Medieval World series covers post Roman and medieval societies and major figures in Europe and the Mediterranean, including western, central and eastern Europe as well as North Africa, the Middle East, and Byzantium. Books in the series cover a broad spectrum of subjects. These range from general topics, such as rural and urban economies, religion and religious institutions, rulership, law, conflict and power, gender and sexuality, and material culture, to biographies and interpretations of major figures, from kings, emperors and popes to saints and theologians.

Books in the Medieval World Series are intended to be an introduction to the authors’ specialist subjects and a gateway into the state of the art and current debates in those subjects – the book they would like their students to read before they take advanced undergraduate or graduate level seminars, and that scholars and students in other fields, both inside and outside of medieval history, would resort to first to learn about current work on these subjects.

At the same time, books in the series should be original scholarly monographs that contribute to their authors’ specific fields of interest. They should not only present the state of the art and introduce readers to current debates; they should express the authors’ ideas and develop them into innovative arguments that will contribute to and influence those debates.

The books should range in length between 100,000-and 140,000 words (including notes and other reference material). They may also contain a small number of images, provided that those images are discussed in the text.

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Series Editors, The Medieval World

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Medieval