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The Christian Polemic against the Jews in the Middle Ages,


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About the Author

Gilbert Dahan is the director of research at l'Ecole pratique des hautes etudes (religious studies) as well as the director of research at CNRS, Paris. He is also a member of the Laboratoire d'etudes sur les monotheismes (study of monotheisms). He is an expert in medieval western Jewish and Christian histories and theologies.

Jody Gladding is an American translator and poet. Gladding, who also teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College, is the author of four books of poetry, one of which is a letterpress edition and one of which is a chapbook.


"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

"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." -Speculum

"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

"[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 gateway 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

"...[A] brief and punchy account of the literature of polemical confrontation in the high Middle Ages...." -Year's Work in English Studies

"The book is rich in historical backgrounds and literary sources that bear on the topic. The reader is introduced to many of the key Christian theologians of this period." -Ashland Theological Journal

"[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

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