The twelfth century was a period of rapid change in Europe. The intellectual landscape was being transformed by new access to classical works through non-Christian sources. The Christian church was consequently trying to strengthen its control over the priesthood and laity and within the church a dramatic spiritual renewal was taking place.
Christians and Jews in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance reveals the consequences for the only remaining non-Christian minority in the heartland of Europe: the Jews. Anna Abulafia probes the anti-Jewish polemics of scholars who used the new ideas to redefine the position of the Jews within Christian society. They argued that the Jews had a different capacity for reason since they had not reached the 'right' conclusion - Christianity. They formulated a universal construct of humanity which coincided with universal Christendom, from which the Jews were excluded. Dr Abulafia shows how the Jews' exclusion from this view of society contributed to their growing marginalization from the twelfth century onwards.
Christians and Jews in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance is important reading for all students and teachers of medieval history and theology, and for all those with an interest in Jewish history.
`Dr Abulafia's well-documented and thought provoking study primarily concerns the attitudes of Christian to Jews; Dr Abulafia gives an original and stimulating account.' - Jrnl of Theological Studies
`This is a stimulating, well-written and demanding book. The thesis is challenging, the book of immense value to anyone trying to understand both the 12th century church and European anti-semitism.' - Theolgical Book Review
`Anna Sapir Abulafia has produced a work of exceptional clarity, precision and fluency, an admirable feat given the complexity of her subject.' - Jewish History
Altogether Bisson has succeeded in assembling a group of independant studies by distinguished medievalists, which, diverse as they are, collectively make up a valuable and stimulating volume on a formative period in the histoyr of power.' - Marjorie Chibnall, English Historical Review, November 1997