This selected list from the ongoing annotated database of the Felix Posen Bibliographic Project has been expressly prepared for the International Conference The "Other" as Threat: Demonization and Antisemitism, convened by the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, June 12-15, 1995.
The entries were retrieved by the following keywords and their derivatives: demon, Devil, Satan, conspiracy theory, blood libels, "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," "Other," stereotypes.
The Felix Posen Bibliographic Project comprises an ongoing annotated database of publications from 1984 to the present, plus a retrospective database listing material from 1983 and back (currently to 1978). The goal of the project is to build a comprehensive database of all published writings about antisemitism and the Holocaust.
The database lists books, articles, dissertations and MA theses published in many countries and languages. At present it contains ca. 15,000 items. Most of the material is gathered from the holdings of the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem. The annotations, written in English by the project's staff of abstractors, reflect the views of the authors of the works and not of the abstractors.
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Jerusalem, June 1995
Susan S. Cohen
Rosalind N. Arzt
Includes the following articles: Stow, Kenneth Richard: Hatred of the Jews or Love of the Church: Papal Policy toward the Jews in the Middle Ages (71-89); Bonfil, Robert (Reuven): The Devil and the Jews in the Christian Consciousness of the Middle Ages (91-98); Breuer, Mordechai: The "Black Death" and Antisemitism (139-151); Ben-Shammai, Haggai: Jew-Hatred in the Islamic Tradition and the Koranic Exegesis (161-169); Barnai, Jacob: "Blood Libels" in the Ottoman Empire of the Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries (189-194); Almog, Shmuel: The Racial Motif in Renan's Attitude to Jews and Judaism [Appeared in Hebrew in "Zion" 32 (1967).] (255-278); Cohen, Richard I. (Yerachmiel): The Dreyfus Affair and the Jews (291-310); Stern, Frank: From Overt Philosemitism to Discreet Antisemitism, and Beyond: Anti-Jewish Developments in the Political Culture of the Federal Republic of Germany (385-404).
Armstrong, Karen: Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World. London: Macmillan, 1988. xv, 452 pp. A revised edition appeared in New York: Doubleday, 1991 (628 pp.).
Accompanies a television series of the same name produced by British Channel 4. A study of the struggle between Christians, Jews, and Muslims focusing on the concept of Holy War. Argues that an inclination to violence inherent in the biblical tradition of monotheism was passed on to Christianity and Islam. Surveys the early history of these religions to show that a pattern of separatism and aggression is often a response to insecurity and a threat to one's identity. Describes the Crusades as such a response, juxtaposing this account with descriptions of modern Zionism. The Crusaders, who persecuted the Jews despite official Church disapproval, created a demonic image of both Jews and Muslims and was directly responsible for the Middle East conflict today. Also discusses the emergence of Islamic antisemitism.
Bennassar, Bartolome et al., eds.: Les Juifs dans le regard de l'Autre. Energas, France: Vent Terral; Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 1988. 157 pp. (Travaux de l'Universite de Toulouse-Le Mirail).
Papers delivered at an international colloquium, Toulouse, April 1985. Discusses the image of Jews as seen by their surrounding society in France, Algeria, Italy, and Mexico, from the Middle Ages to the present. Partial contents: Bennassar, Bartolome: Les Juifs de la Nouvelle-Espagne [Mexico] dans le regard des esclaves (17-23); Moulinas, Rene: Les Juifs d'Avignon et du Comtat Venaissin au XVIIe et au XVIIIe siecle (25-33); Sephiha, Haim Vidal: L'image du Juif dans l'univers concentrationnaire nazi [Appeared also in "Vidas Largas" 7 (June 1988).] (51-55); Pichon, Muriel: L'extermination des Juifs: Silence et distorsion de la memoire a la liberation (81-93); Goldstaub, Adriana Ventriglia ; Novello Paglianti, Giovanni Battista: L'image des Juifs dans un groupe d'etudiants de la Venetie [Appeared in Italian in "La Rassegna Mensile di Israel" 56, 3 (1991).] (107-115); Bensimon, Doris: La perception de l'Autre en milieu juif nord-africain [Algeria] (117-126); Rohman, Fernand: Le Juif, l'Autre et le troisieme homme (145-157).
Carmichael, Joel: The Satanizing of the Jews: Origin and Development of Mystical Anti-Semitism. New York: Fromm, 1992. ix, 210 pp.
The mystical dimension of anti-Jewish prejudice is rooted in Christian theology; it was transformed into a pseudo-scientific theory of racism in the last third of the 19th century. States that in Christian theology the concept of "Jews" reflects the world of the Devil. The concept of essential Evil distinguishes antisemitism from all other group hatreds. Traces the evolution of the anti-Jewish demonic myths in the early Christian Church of the Roman Empire and in the medieval period, as well as in the Protestant Reformation (especially in Luther's writings). Mentions the persistence of the satanizing image of Jews and Judaism in Enlightenment philosophy (e.g. Voltaire), the "racial arguments" in modern secular thinking, and in Marx's thought. Analyzes the reinforcement of demonic and racial antisemitism in Hitler's conceptions, and the use of antisemitic myths in Stalinist propaganda.
Chevalier, Yves: L'antisemitismo: Uno sguardo di insieme sulle sue teorie esplicative. La Rassegna Mensile di Israel 56, 3 [Sept-Dec 1990] (1991) 337-386.
Analyzes theories describing various types of antisemitism, according to the diverse causes of this phenomenon. Distinguishes between antisemitism as a result of Jewish nature (Bernard Lazare); Jews as a closed community, provoking the envy and hostility of the surrounding society; Christian antisemitism stemming from theological conflict and leading to the teaching of contempt (Jules Isaac); racial antisemitism as hatred of the "Other" and hierarchisation of cultural (or biological) groups (C. Delacampagne); social antisemitism, interpreted as pathology (C. Lombroso), class-struggle (Abraham Leon), scapegoating (E. Durkheim), or political maneuver (H. Arendt); and psychological antisemitism as an expression of passion (J.P. Sartre), envy (S. Freud) or collective psychosis (E. Simmel). States that various kinds of antisemitism can exist together and that there is a core of instigators (active haters) and a multitude of passive subjects susceptible to influence through propaganda.
Cohn-Sherbok, Dan: The Crucified Jew: Twenty Centuries of Christian Anti- Semitism. London: HarperCollins Religious, 1992. xx, 258 pp.
Tracing the history of Christian attitudes toward Judaism, asserts that Christian antisemitism has served for twenty centuries as a fundamental cause of Judeophobia. Outlines anti-Jewish religious writings expressing negative stereotypes and prejudices (e.g. ritual murder allegations, demonization of Jews, the Jewish conspiracy theory), the spread of modern racist antisemitism in Europe and the U.S., and the Nazi extermination policy. Mentions post- Holocaust Christian theological trends toward Christian-Jewish reconciliation.
De Lange, Nicholas Robert Michael: Judaismo y cristianismo: Mitos antiguos y dialogo moderno. Miscelanea de Estudios Arabes y Hebraicos 39, 2 (1990) 5-29.
An expanded version of a paper presented at a conference in Granada, February 1989. Analyzes and refutes, one by one, most Christian accusations against Jews (e.g. deicide) stating that the mythical view of Christian-Jewish relations was elaborated between the 1st-4th centuries out of the Church's need to define itself against Judaism by stressing its own superiority. When the Church acquired political power, it used it against Jews, matching reality to the mythical image of the deicide Jew, punished as a people and individually reduced to a humble and despised existence. Argues that the ancient world knew expressions of anti-Judaism, but that it was Christianity which initiated antisemitism. The Christian myth about Judaism vilified and demonized Jews through the ages. Post-World War II Christian-Jewish dialogue came to recognize that Christian teachings were at least in part responsible for the propagation of antisemitism.
Erb, Rainer, ed.: Die Legende vom Ritualmord: Zur Geschichte der Blutbeschuldigung gegen Juden. Berlin: Metropol, 1993. 295 pp.
Papers presented at a conference in Berlin, October 1990. Partial contents: Erb, Rainer: Zur Erforschung der europaeischen Ritualmordbeschuldigungen (9-16); Schroubek, Georg R.: Zur Tradierung und Diffusion einer europaeischen Aberglaubensvorstellung (17-24); Lotter, Friedrich: Innocens virgo et martyr: Thomas von Monmouth und die Verbreitung der Ritualmordlegende im Hochmittelalter (25-72); Spangenberg, Peter-Michael: Judenfeindlichkeit in den altfranzoesischen Marienmirakeln: Stereotypen oder Symptome der Veraenderung der kollektiven Selbsterfahrung? (157-177); Och, Gunnar: Alte Maerchen von der Grausamkeit der Juden: Zur Rezeption judenfeindlicher Blutschuld-Mythen durch die Romantiker (223-238); Jeggle, Utz: Tatorte: Zur imaginaeren Topographie von Ritualmordlegenden (239-252); Anselm, Sigrun: Angst und Angstprojektion in der Phantasie vom juedischen Ritualmord (253-265).
Finkielkraut, Alain: La sagesse de l'amour: Essai. Paris: Gallimard, 1984. 200 pp.
A philosophical essay, following the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, on the image of and relation to the Other, and their moral and social significances. Pp. 148-169 discuss antisemitism as a form of hatred of the Other. Nazi antisemitism perceived the Jew as the ungraspable and dangerous "intruder." With the Final Solution, Nazism introduced the elements of indifference, neutralization of the victim's image, and bureaucracy in the service of genocide.
Girard, Rene: The Scapegoat. Trans.: Yvonne Freccero. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. 216 pp. Originally published as "Le bouc emissaire" (Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1982).
Presents a structuralist approach to understanding "texts of persecution" - documents recounting phenomena of collective violence from the standpoint of the persecutor, in which the victim becomes a scapegoat. Analyzes the Jew as scapegoat in the "Judgment of the King of Navarre" by Guillaume de Machaut, a mid-14th century French poet, in which the Jews are massacred because of their alleged responsibility for the Black Death. Examines the Oedipus myth and the crucifixion of Christ as other examples of collective persecution and delineates necessary conditions for "stereotypes of persecution": extreme loss of social order, accusations against an individual or group as responsible for the disorder, and choice of a susceptible victim. Focuses on the persecution of the early Christians by Romans and Jews, and the subsequent Christian persecution of Jews, calling for mutual forgiveness and an end to murder in the name of religion, politics, or ideologies.
Gold, Judith Taylor: Monsters and Madonnas: The Roots of Christian Anti- Semitism. New York: New Amsterdam Books, 1988. xv, 288 pp.
Contends that Christian beliefs and practices are essentially pagan in their origin. Describes how Christian doctrine contains the seeds of antisemitism and how throughout the Gospels the Jew is equated with the Devil. Traces how this image was reinforced throughout the centuries. Analyzes the development of the literary horror story - its setting, characterization, plot, etc. - and points to similarities in the Christ story. States that antisemitism is the universal recognition of the Jew as a monster figure.
Hasan-Rokem, Galit; Dundes, Alan, eds.: The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of a Christian Legend. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986. ix, 278 pp.
A collection of essays published in the 19th-20th centuries, tracing the origins and development of the legend of the Wandering Jew in popular folklore, literature, and art, in Europe and America. Also examines the significance for Christian theology and modern thought of the stereotype of Jewish homelessness and eternal punishment. Partial contents: Edelmann, R.: Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew: Origin and Background (1-10); Koenig, Eduard: The Wandering Jew: Legend or Myth? (11-26); Bagatti, P.B.: The Legend of the Wandering Jew: A Franciscan Headache (39-49); Champfleury: French Images of the Wandering Jew (68-75); Anderson, George K.: Popular Survivals of the Wandering Jew in England (76-104); Glanz, Rudolf: The Wandering Jew in America (105-118); Hasan-Rokem, Galit: The Cobbler of Jerusalem in Finnish Folklore (119-153); af Klintberg, Bengt: The Swedish Wanderings of the Eternal Jew (154-168); Isaac-Edersheim, E.: Ahasver - a Mythic Image of the Jew (195-210); Leschnitzer, Adolf F.: The Wandering Jew: The Alienation of the Jewish Image in Christian Consciousness (227-235); Maccoby, Hyam: The Wandering Jew as Sacred Executioner (236-260).
Kastning-Olmesdahl, Ruth: Theological and Psychological Barriers to Changing the Image of Jews and Judaism in Education. Journal of Ecumenical Studies 21, 3 (Sum 1984) 452-469.
Surveys the image of the Jews as it developed in early Christianity, and as depicted in religious teachings to this day: enemies and killers of Jesus, fanatics, intolerant, particularistic, dishonest, hypocritical. Presents explanations for the reluctance of Christians to change these views: fear of that which is different; confirmation of one's identity by rejection of the other; fundamentalism; guilt and prejudice.
Katz, Steven Theodore: Misusing the Holocaust Paradigm to Mis-Write History: Examples from Recent Medieval Historiography. Michael 13 (1993) 103-130.
Criticizes the tendency to use the Holocaust for reinterpreting events of the Middle Ages. Illustrates this tendency with three examples: the application of the Holocaust paradigm to the medieval persecution of homosexuals, witches, and heretics. In the persecution of sodomites, a sacral, metaphysical element was lacking, which was present in the hostile relationship of both medieval society and of the Nazis to the Jew. The witch-craze, despite all the historiographical exaggerations, appears a rather marginal phenomenon in the medieval context. The Albigensian Crusade differs from the Holocaust in that for the heretic there was always the possibility of penitence and return to Catholicism (the annihilation of the entire population in Beziers and Marmande appear to be exceptional cases), while the Nazis aimed to annihilate all the Jews. It is not correct to study the events of the Middle Ages, terrible as some of them were, through the prism of Auschwitz.
Langmuir, Gavin I.: History, Religion, and Antisemitism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. ix, 380 pp.
Discusses the essence of religion (as a social phenomenon) and religiosity (a property of individuals), from the perspective of a historian, as a preliminary theoretical clarification, in order to approach the problem of antisemitism and to provide a comprehensive rational answer to the question: "Why did non-Jews from the Middle Ages to the present kill millions of almost defenseless Jews?" Using the author's previous definition of antisemitism (in "Toward a Definition of Antisemitism"), considers the extreme irrationality of antisemitism as its essential feature which distinguishes it from other kinds of hostility toward Jews. Places the origins of antisemitism in medieval Christian Europe when irrational Christian anti-Jewish stereotypes and myths gained social significance and were incorporated into European culture and historiography. Distinguishes a "physiocentric antisemitism" in the 19th century, promoted by socialistic or racial theories, culminating with Nazi antisemitism and the "Final Solution."
Memmi, Albert: Il razzismo: Paura dell'altro e diritti della differenza. Trans.: Cristina Spano. Genova: Costa & Nolan, 1989. 167 pp. Originally published as "Le racisme" (Paris: Gallimard, 1982).
An analysis of racism, not as an obsession with biological differences and with superiority of the pure race, but mainly as a reaction to differences among peoples. States that there is a latent racism in everyone, since differences confuse, and racism is in fact the interpretation given to those differences. Defines and analyzes racism on a philosophical level, and gives examples of racist expressions throughout history. Mentions some reasons for racism, such as colonial oppression, economic profit, and the need for a scapegoat, which usually result in antisemitic persecutions. On pp. 48-56, defines antisemitism as racism against Jews, combining traditional accusations with resentment of the economic and political role of Jews in society. States that the anti-Jewish stances of both Christianity and Islam stem from their need for self-affirmation through denigration of Judaism. The Nazis made use of all the anti-Jewish stereotypes for their purposes.
Michael, Robert: Luther, Luther Scholars and the Jews. Encounter: Creative Theological Scholarship 46, 4 (Fall 1985) 339-356.
Luther scholars who defend, censor, or try to tone down his views on the Jews, ignore the murderous implications of Luther's antisemitism. Like the Nazis, Luther mythologized the Jews as completely evil: they should not be treated as humans and should be cast out of Germany. They could be saved if they converted to Christianity, but their demonic hostility to Christian society makes this inconceivable. "There was a strong parallel between Luther's ideas and feelings about Jews and Judaism and the essentially anti-Jewish Weltanschauung of most German Lutherans throughout the Holocaust."
Rohrbacher, Stefan; Schmidt, Michael: Judenbilder: Kulturgeschichte antijuedischer Mythen und antisemitischer Vorurteile. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlts Taschenbuch Verlag, 1991. 441 pp.
A historical-cultural survey of anti-Judaism and antisemitism throughout the centuries. Describes negative images of the Jews, depicting them as usurers, Host desecrators, demons, ritual murderers, and well poisoners, and discusses the insidious "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Focuses on religious anti- Jewish myths and prejudices, asserting that Christians who have no anti-Jewish feelings sometimes use antisemitic expressions in conversation, without being aware of their meaning. Negative Jewish stereotypes are used in German literature, and even philosemitic authors, emphasizing the "good" Jew, provoke the sentiment that this Jew is an exception.
Sibony, Daniel: Ecrits sur le racisme. Paris: Christian Bourgois, 1988. 238 pp.
A psychological interpretation of racism, defined as hatred of the Other expressed in "scientific" terms. States that difference gives people security and when differences are blurred racism arises. Focuses on anti-Jewish racism on different levels - e.g. anti-Zionism, linguistic racism (the "Jew" label). Even the Third World identifies with Western civilization in blaming its failures on the Jews. Surveys gender differences and the rationality- irrationality of racism in literary works and analyzes the scapegoat phenomenon and racial responses to assimilation.
Fradkin, Hillel: The Roots of Islamic Fundamentalism. Vision Confronts Reality: Historical Perspectives on the Contemporary Jewish Agenda, eds. Ruth Kozodoy et al. Rutherford, NJ: Herzl Press, 1989. Pp. 245-261.
Reviews the history of Islam with a view to understanding its attitude towards Israel and Judaism. The establishment of the State of Israel was an event which undermined the basic Muslim view that Judaism was no longer a major historical force. In Muslim writings, Israel is depicted alternately as an indignity forced upon the Muslims by the West or as evidence of a demonic conspiracy. The latter view receives support from 19th-20th century European antisemitic literature.
Hertz, Aleksander: Zydzi w kulturze polskiej [The Jews in Polish Culture]. Warszawa: Biblioteka "Wiezi", 1988. 303 pp. First published in Paris: Instytut Literacki, 1961.
A sociological analysis of the Jewish presence in Poland throughout history. States that Jews lived in Poland as a caste, and compares their status to the situation of Blacks in the USA. The Jews' separateness aroused antagonism and antisemitism. Discusses the process of stereotyping of the Jew up to the recent Jew-communist stereotype ("Zydokomuna"). The mythologization of Jews as enemies gained strength in the interwar period. Stresses the irrational elements of antisemitism and the need of people for a scapegoat. States that although the Jews lived as a caste, they were not totally isolated from Polish social life. Discusses mutual influences, the assimilation of many individuals, and the contribution of Jews to Polish culture. Surveys, as well, the image of the Jew in Polish literature, and emphasizes that it does not reflect the reality of the Jewish presence in Poland.
Russia and the USSR
Zand, Michael: The Russian Orthodox Pattern of Antisemitism and Its Contemporary Expressions. Kivunim 31 (May 1986) 113-119. (Hebrew)
The main characteristic of Russian Orthodox antisemitism is the demonization of the Jew, portrayed as the enemy and murderer of God. Modern antisemitism in the USSR is a secular version of this demonization - the Jew is presented as the antithesis of good.
Picchio, Riccardo: L'immagine dell'ebreo nella tradizione russa antica. Gli Ebrei dell'Europa orientale dall'utopia alla rivolta, eds. Marco Brunazzi, Anna Maria Fubini. Milano: Edizioni di Comunita, 1985. Pp. 159-171.
Reviews anti-Jewish references in the Orthodox tradition of medieval and early modern Russia, which emphasized the image of the Jew rejecting Christ's teachings and demanded exclusion of Jews and other non-Christians from society. With the strengthening of the Muscovite autocracy, Russian patriotism entailed blind loyalty to the Tsar and religious bigotry. Jews were identified with the circumcized Muslim enemy in the East, and as agents of Latin imperialism in the West, oppressing the Slavic Orthodox masses in the name of the Polish Catholic rulers. With the end of the Jagiellonian monarchy in Poland, Jews were persecuted by both Poles and Russians.
Poliakov, Leon: La causalite diabolique. Vol. 2: Du joug mongol a la victoire de Lenine, 1250-1920. Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1985. 366 pp.
Vol. 1 (1980) analyzed "diabolical" explanations for the great revolutions in history. Vol. 2 traces the origins of the Jewish conspiracy theory in Russian history and its role in the Russian Revolution which was viewed by the Whites as a "Jewish plot."
Emphasizes the hostility that existed between the Jewish and the Greek settlements in Israel. The Jews viewed the Greeks as worshippers of idols (which was an abomination) and the successors of the Canaanites and Philistines who were to be wiped out according to the injunctions of the Torah. The Greeks viewed the Jews as brutal and barbarian, rejecting the gods, anti-social, and the universal enemy. This mutual hostility was a central factor in the history of ancient Israel vis-a-vis the Greco-Roman world. Mentions hostile Hellenistic literature, which was spread in the Roman world and inflamed Roman hostility towards Jews and Judaism. This, in turn, aroused Jewish anger and rebelliousness. Draws a direct line from the Hasmonean rebellion to the revolt against Rome.
Bori, Pier Cesare: The Golden Calf and the Origins of the Anti-Jewish Controversy. Trans.: David Ward. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1990. vii, 125 pp. Originally published as "Vitello d'oro" (Turin: Boringhieri, 1983).
Traces the origin and evolution of anti-Jewish stereotypes in early Christian writings, especially the accusations of idolatry, murder of prophets, and Jewish "carnality," utilized to emphasize the superiority of the Christian faith and to justify its distinction from Judaism. Mentions the use of episodes from the Bible in order to present the Jews as a sinful and servile people. Since the 4th century, the stereotypes are not solely theological, but also psychological and cultural, reinforcing the juridically-sanctioned situation of Jewish dependency and inferiority. The English translation contains an Appendix (pp. 101-113), "Images and Stereotypes of the Jewish People in the Ancient World: Golden Ass, Golden Calf," which points out the similarities and distinctions between the pagan and Christian anti-Jewish stereotypes of Jewish "idolatry" and "impurity."
Brumlik, Micha: Johannes: Das judenfeindliche Evangelium. Kirche und Israel 4, 2 (1989) 102-113.
Attempts to explain the anti-Judaism of the Gospel of John, with its repeated "paranoid" references to Christian fear of Jewish persecution - only to a limited extent justified by the facts - and its vilification of Jews as "children of Satan," as the product of a non-Jewish sect influenced by paganism and gnostic dualism, whose beliefs were incompatible with Judaism.
Carroll, Robert P.: The Bible as a Problem for Christianity. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1991. xi, 159 pp. Published in Great Britain as "Wolf in the Sheepfold" (London: SPCK, 1991).
Ch. 4 (pp. 89-116), "The People of the Jews," discusses the demonization of the Jews in Gospels-Acts (especially John) as the source of Christian anti- Judaism. Suggests that "the Jews" in the New Testament are propagandistic literary constructions with no relation to real Jews; but over the centuries these texts have been read as history. Rivalry between Christian and Jewish communities in the Roman Empire raised the level of vituperative rhetoric and justified the persecution of Jews which finally led to Auschwitz. Concludes that it is time to reinterpret the New Testament by means of critical reading.
Collins, Adela Yarbro: Vilification and Self-Definition in the Book of Revelation. Harvard Theological Review 79, 1-3 (1986) 308-320. This issue of the journal was published under separate cover as "Christians among Jews and Gentiles," eds. George W.E. Nickelsburg, George W. MacRae (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986).
Argues that the vilification of Jews, Romans, and non-Christian Gentiles in Revelation should be understood in terms of group conflict, as an expression of the Christian struggle for self-definition. Pp. 310-314, "Vilification of Jews," discuss verses 2:9 and 3:9 where Jews are referred to as members of a synagogue of Satan, and slanderers. Contends that this vilification had a social function, reinforcing the development of Christians as a distinct social group. Concludes that modern-day Christians disposed toward anti- Judaism are influenced by these passages, but they were written at a specific time for a specific purpose, and Christians today no longer need to vilify Jews.
Neusner, Jacob; Frerichs, Ernest Sunley, eds.: "To See Ourselves as Others See Us": Christians, Jews, "Others" in Late Antiquity. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1985. xx, 522 pp.
Papers delivered at a conference at Brown University, Providence, RI, August 1984. Parts 2-3 deal with the 1st-4th centuries and the problem of anti- Judaism in Christian writings. Part 4 describes attitudes of Christians and Jews after the Christianization of the Roman Empire. Partial contents: Meeks, Wayne Atherton: Breaking Away: Three New Testament Pictures of Christianity's Separation from the Jewish Communities (93-115); Freyne, Sean: Vilifying the Other and Defining the Self: Matthew's and John's Anti-Jewish Polemic in Focus (117-143); Kraabel, Alf Thomas: Synagoga Caeca: Systematic Distortion in Gentile Interpretations of Evidence for Judaism in the Early Christian Period (219-246); Wilson, S.G.: Passover, Easter and Anti-Judaism: Melito of Sardis and Others (337-355); Bachrach, Bernard S.: The Jewish Community of the Later Roman Empire as Seen in the "Codex Theodosianus" (399-421); Hayman, A.P.: The Image of the Jew in the Syriac Anti-Jewish Polemical Literature (423-441); Goffart, Walter: The Conversions of Avitus of Clermont and Similar Passages in Gregory of Tours (473-497).
Analyzes the attitude of medieval Ashkenaz Jewry towards Christianity, with a view to understanding the Jews' feelings as a persecuted minority in a Christian world. A recurrent theme in German Jewish apologetic literature and in the ritual liturgy is the call for divine vengeance for innocent Jewish blood spilt, to occur at the time of the messianic redemption. The desire for vengeance gave rise to a ritual of cursing the Gentiles in the liturgy. These curses aroused a strong negative reaction against the Jews in the Christian world. The Jews believed that the curses had a magic power and that their use would hasten the day of vengeance. They also believed that human sacrifice for the sanctification of God's name ("kiddush ha-Shem") would hasten that day, which may explain the acts of suicide and infanticide among Rhineland Jews in 1096. The Jewish chronicles on the Crusades were written mainly to arouse God's ire and to bring the avenging redemption. They relate that Jewish adults murdered their children or other Jewish children in order to preclude their conversion to Christianity. Notes that some members of the Jewish community opposed these sacrificial murders. Contends that there is a connection between the Jews' murder of children in 1096 (described in Christian chronicles as well) and the appearance of the first blood libel in 1147 in Wuerzburg, during the Second Crusade. The ritual murder accusations arose from a distorted interpretation of the Jews' behavior in 1096 and the Jews' ritual of vengeance as part of their credo of redemption. Since this false accusation contained some truth, it became widespread. The mythos of 1096 determined the image of German Jews for centuries to come - for Jews they were heroic martyrs, while for Christians they were bloody murderers.
Meyuhas-Ginio, Alisa: The Expulsion of the Jews from the Kingdom of France in the 14th Century and Its Significance as Viewed by Alonso (Alfonso) de Espina, Author of "Fortalitium fidei". Michael 12 (1991) 67-82. (Hebrew)
Describes the polemical work written in 1464 by Alonso de Espina, Franciscan monk, head of the Studium Theologicum in Salamanca, and itinerant preacher. The "Fortalitium fidei" is comprised of five books; the first praises the Catholic faith, and the other four attack its enemies - heretics, Jews, Saracens, and demons. Each book presents the enemies' arguments against Christianity and Christian responses culled from previous polemical works, and a section relating the iniquitous acts of the enemy. In the case of the Jews, he enumerates 17 types of acts, stereotypical anti-Jewish accusations. Nos. 2, 3, and 4 give examples of alleged ritual acts by Jews which occurred in France (murder of Christians in caves or underground cells, false accusation against a Christian by a Jewish court and his execution by hanging, and the use of a human heart for purposes of magic) and which were punished by expulsion or murder of Jews in the specific area. Alonso presents three sins of the Jews as the possible cause of the expulsion from France in 1306, and recommends expulsion and murder as proper punishment for Spain's Jews as well.
Dahan, Gilbert: Les intellectuels chretiens et les Juifs au Moyen Age. Paris: Cerf, 1990. 637 pp. Based on the author's diss. - Universite de Paris I, 1987.
A comprehensive analysis of medieval Christian thinking on Jews and Judaism, and on interfaith relations, between the 12th-14th centuries (1096-1391). Part I (pp. 21-91), "Le cadre," describes the deterioration of the Jews' condition beginning with the First Crusade (blood libel accusations, pogroms, expulsions), and analyzes royal protection and taxation of Jews, as well as their legal status. Part II (pp. 95-226), "L'Eglise et les Juifs," discusses official Church policy towards the Jews, including protection and restrictions (yellow badge, ghettos, compulsory sermons, etc.). Parts III (pp. 230-336), "La rencontre," and IV (pp. 340-508), "L'affrontement," analyze the Christians' knowledge of Hebrew, the Hebrew Bible, Jewish exegesis, philosophy and natural science, and the Christian-Jewish polemic on interpretation of the Scriptures (the Contra Judaeos genre, forced disputations, etc.). Part V (pp. 511-581), "Les intellectuels et la question juive," analyzes the image of the Jew (seen as carnal, diabolical, alien) as reflected in the writings of many Christian intellectuals, and medieval theology on Jews and Judaism which outlined their responsibility for deicide and their punishment to live in eternal humiliation as a testimony to their error.
Di Nola, Alfonso Maria: Il diavolo: Le forme, la storia, le vicende di Satana e la sua universale e malefica presenza presso tutti i popoli, dall'antichita ai nostri giorni. Roma: Newton Compton, 1987. 405 pp.
Analyzes the image of Satan, and demonology throughout the ages. Pp. 309-312, "Ebrei e Zingari identificati con il diavolo," deal with demonization of ethnic groups, such as Tatars, Gypsies, and Jews, which were alien to the medieval Christian model. Recognizes a pattern for demonization: ethnic diversity was invested with physical deformity and, through theological mystification, was equated with demoniacal evil. Medieval polemics, such as Peter of Blois' "Contra perfidiam Judaeorum," saw the Jews as satanic agents and denounced the alleged alliance between Jews and Antichrist. Jews were held to have satanic physical characteristics, such as a strong smell and perverse physiognomy. Their economic success was blamed on the devil's protection, while accusations of deicide and blood libels sealed the image of the evil Jew.
Ginzburg, Carlo: Storia notturna: Una decifrazione del sabba. Torino: Einaudi, 1989. xlv, 319 pp.
A study of witchcraft and the ritual of the Witches' Sabbath in West European culture. Analyzes the folkloric and mythical strata of the phenomenon, and the appearance of the stereotype of the devilish and anti-Christian Witches' Sabbath in the 15th century, due to investigations and trials of the Inquisition against witches and heretics. Part I (pp. 5-61) discusses frequent cases of persecutions and massacres of Jews in the 14th-15th centuries, accused (along with lepers) of poisoning the wells and spreading the plague as part of a plot to destroy Christianity. Examines the ideological mechanism of the Inquisition's campaign that led to the alleged association of the Jews with lepers, witches, and magicians, and their connection with diabolical forces.
Graus, Frantisek: Pest, Geissler, Judenmorde: Das 14. Jahrhundert als Krisenzeit. Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1987. 608 pp.
Pt. 3 (pp. 155-389) surveys the history of the Jews in the 14th century. Gives a chronological list of pogroms which occurred between 1348-1350 in different parts of Western Europe. Persecution of the Jews arose from medieval beliefs, such as blood libels, accusations of well poisoning, the negative stereotype, and the demonization of Jews, propagated by the clergy. Criticizes the tendency of historians to ascribe these pogroms to the lower classes. The initiators were mostly the upper classes, particularly the nobility, for political reasons or in order to cancel their debts to the Jews. Includes a comprehensive bibliography (pp. 568-600).
Graus, Frantisek: Juden und andere Randgruppen in den Staedten des Spaetmittelalters. Alternative Welten in Mittelalter und Renaissance, ed. Ludwig Schrader. Duesseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1988. Pp. 87-109.
A sociological analysis of the process of marginalization of deviant groups (beggars, heretics, witches, etc.) in the late medieval town, using Jews as a typical example. The Church had always demanded isolation of the Jews, and they themselves protected their group identity by means of ritual laws and community organization. Nevertheless, in the early Middle Ages there was extensive cultural interaction. From the beginning of the 14th century, Jews suffered from legal discrimination, were stigmatized by distinctive clothing and demonization, and were confined to ghettos. Attributes this process to feelings of insecurity among townspeople, and their need for defenses against any threat to the established order.
Martin, Herve: Le metier de predicateur en France septentrionale a la fin du Moyen Age (1350-1520). Paris: Cerf, 1988. 720 pp.
Pp. 323-330, "Les Juifs allies du diable," discuss a sermon delivered in 1460 by friar Simon Cupersi (Bayeux ms. no. 48, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris). A semantic analysis of the sermon clearly shows Cupersi's association of the Jews with the Devil. Quotes fragments of other sermons as well, by various preachers in the period 1410-1450, as examples of Christian anti-Judaism in the 15th century.
Menache, Sophia: Faith, Myth and Politics: The Stereotype of the Jews and Their Expulsion from England and France. Jewish Quarterly Review 75, 4 (Apr 1985) 351-374.
French monastic chroniclers of the 12th century greeted local expulsions of the Jews with enthusiasm. Later chroniclers in England and France publicized the diabolical stereotype and the blood libels and favored severe punishment for the Jews involved, yet were ambivalent regarding the expulsions of 1290 (England) and 1306 (France) due to their awareness of the economic and political implications of this royal policy. Chroniclers also opposed the massacre of Jews in France by the Pastoureaux in 1320, fearing the spread of anarchy. The Lepers' Plot, however, in which Jews and lepers were accused of poisoning the wells, was viewed as a threat to all of Christendom, and strengthened the diabolical stereotype on the eve of the second expulsion from France in 1322.
Moore, Robert Ian: The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250. Oxford: Blackwell, 1987. 168 pp.
Discusses the development of persecution in the Middle Ages, focusing on heretics, Jews, and lepers. In the 12th century, the Jews shared in the general prosperity and expansion, but privileges which they were granted by the kings or lords later became the means of oppression, exploitation, and even expulsion. Analyzes the causes of developing hostility towards the Jews in the 11th century, the Crusades being one of the main instigators. The identification of the Jews as enemies of Christians grew. A negative stereotype linking the Jew to the Devil and to witches, and accusations of ritual murder and Host profanation were widespread. Concludes that persecution began as a weapon in the competition for political influence and was turned by the victors into an instrument for consolidating their power over society at large.
Patschovsky, Alexander: Der "Talmudjude": Vom mittelalterlichen Ursprung eines neuzeitlichen Themas. Juden in der christlichen Umwelt waehrend des spaeten Mittelalters, eds. Alfred Haverkamp, Franz-Josef Ziwes. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1992. Pp. 13-27.
Based on a paper delivered at the Historikertag in Bamberg, October 1988. Traces Rohling's "Talmudjude" and its source, Eisenmenger's "Entdecktes Judentum," to medieval Christian compilations of passages from the Talmud that seem to blaspheme God and Christianity and to justify any crime against non- Jews. These compilations were prepared in connection with the inquiry instigated by the convert Nicholas Donin, which led to the burning of the Talmud in Paris in 1242. They culminated in the widely disseminated "Pharetra fidei contra Iudeos." Disputes Jeremy Cohen's thesis that the image of the monstrous "Talmud Jew" replaced that of "the Jew as witness to the truth of Christianity" and thus opened the way to the persecutions which began about that time. Suggests, instead, that it reinforced the already existing image of the Jew, as society needed a scapegoat in the crises of the period.
Suarez Fernandez, Luis: La expulsion de los judios de Espana. Madrid: MAPFRE, 1991. 361 pp.
An analysis of the status of the Jews in medieval Spain, and the process of gestation which led to the general expulsion of 1492. States that the Jews were allowed to live in the Christian kingdoms, not out of tolerance but due to sheer economic necessity, and with the expectation of their future conversion. They were segregated and persecuted through special legislation, their image was negatively stereotyped (e.g. cowards, usurers), they were prey to religious and physical violence (e.g. Talmud burning, theological disputations, forced conversion, pogroms), and were harassed by the Inquisition. All these built up to the point that the Christian conscience perceived the Jews as a collective danger to be eliminated altogether.
Traces the history of the blood libel and legends of desecration of the Host and of Christian religious images. Describes a ballad circulating in Saxony in 1727-29 accusing five Jews in Schwabach, led by a rabbi, who on Good Friday parodied Christ's passion by crucifying a dog. After the Jews protested, a market singer who purveyed the ballad was prosecuted. States that such ballads, many of them dealing with ritual murder, were popular at the time because they appealed to prejudice which was fueled by the clergy. Quotes from a sermon held in Monheim in 1740 to celebrate the expulsion of Jews from the province of Palatine Neuburg, in which the Catholic preacher asserts that Jews cannot live long without imbibing Christian blood. Overtly or by implication, these ballads, broadsides, and sermons called for pogroms and for the expulsion of Jews, and therefore the authorities in Protestant lands suppressed them (Catholics were more ambivalent).
Hsia, Ronnie Po-chia: The Myth of Ritual Murder: Jews and Magic in Reformation Germany. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988. viii, 248 pp. Published in paperback in 1990.
Traces the development of ritual murder trials in late medieval and early modern Germany, and the significance of magic, the occult, and the power attributed to human blood in German religious traditions and folklore based on the Christian belief in sacrifice. Focuses on the ritual murder trial in Endingen (1470), the case of Simon of Trent (1475), the Host desecration accusation in Passau (1478), and the blood libels in Regensburg (1476), Freiburg (1504), and Worms (1563). Ritual murder accusations declined after the Reformation when all forms of magic were attacked, but in Lutheran Germany ritual murder discourse survived primarily as a historical element in order to strengthen confessional identity. Ritual murder trials furnished the historical "reality" for the consolidation of the stereotype of the magical nature of Jews.
Kirn, Hans-Martin: Das Bild vom Juden im Deutschland des fruehen 16. Jahrhunderts dargestellt an den Schriften Johannes Pfefferkorns. Tuebingen: J. C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1989. viii, 253 pp. Based on the author's diss. - Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet, Tuebingen, 1983-84.
Shows how the writings of the converted Jew Johannes Pfefferkorn (1469-after 1521) reflect the negative popular image of the Jews in the late Middle Ages, presenting them as enemies of humanity, usurers, demons, and heretics. Pfefferkorn's arguments were based on falsification of Jewish religious customs and of quotations from the Talmud. Describes his efforts to convert Jews and his controversy with the humanist Reuchlin about Jewish studies. Followed by a complete list of Pfefferkorn's works and the full text of one of them, "Der Juden Spiegel."
Novinsky, Anita Waingort: Reflexiones sobre paralelos: La Inquisicion en America - un capitulo olvidado de la historia. Maguen - Escudo 77 (Oct-Dec 1990) 15-27.
A paper presented at the Symposium of the 5th Semana Sefardi de Caracas. Condemns the revision of the history of the Inquisition and its persecution of Jews as an attempt to rehabilitate the Saintly Office. There are historians who claim that a false "black legend" was created, and who try to minimize and banalize the methods and effects of the Inquisition through comparison with totalitarian regimes. Holds the Inquisition responsible for inculcating hatred of Jews in the Christian population and for creating a climate of suspicion and hostility against Jews and Conversos. States that antisemitism in post-1492 Spain and Portugal was similar to that in 20th century Germany: racism and violence exploded when the Jews abandoned their own way of life and assimilated into the broader society. A theory justifying discrimination and expulsion was devised, and racial laws against Jews (e.g. "limpieza de sangre," Blutschade) were implemented by lay, governmental factors. A demonized image of the Jew was evoked by the Inquisition, as well as by the Nazis. Reviews the anti-Converso campaigns of the Inquisition in colonial Spanish America and Brazil.
Rubenstein, Richard Lowell: Luther and the Roots of the Holocaust. Persistent Prejudice: Perspectives on Anti- Semitism, eds. Herbert Hirsch, Jack D. Spiro. Fairfax, VA: George Mason University Press, 1988. Pp. 31-41.
A paper delivered at a conference held in Richmond, Virginia, 1983. Discusses Luther's radical attitude to the Jews, including his views on their demonic nature and lack of salvation. States that Luther's denial of the Jews' humanity and their transformation into demons was a precondition for the Holocaust, and argues that Luther would have interpreted the Holocaust as decisive proof of God's rejection of the Jews. Gives evidence for this from a conference of German Lutheran theologians in 1948, where the Holocaust was proclaimed as a divine punishment. Presents a socio-psychological theory to explain Luther's attitude to the Jews, contending that in times of minimal social stress exclusive religions can live in relative peace with one another, but in times of heightened social stress (such as the Reformation period and World War II) religious and communal strife can lead to large-scale violence.
Shell, Marc: Marranos (Pigs), or From Coexistence to Toleration. Critical Inquiry 17, 2 (Win 1991) 306-335.
Describes religious toleration in Muslim Spain where the protection of "Peoples of the Book" permitted coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Contrasts this with the introduction of the Purity of Blood Statutes in Christian Spain in 1449 which resulted in a nationalism of exclusion based on race and genealogy. The Christian doctrine "all men are brothers" turned into "only my brothers are men, all `others' are animals and may be treated as such." Discusses the bullfight, which became a national festival in the 16th century, as a symbol of this Spanish nationalist ideology. Examines the development of religious toleration as a political philosophy in 17th-century England and Holland, as expressed by John Locke and Marrano thinkers like Isaac Cardoso and Spinoza. Locke introduced a new particularism into the debate concerning toleration. Rejects the claim made that antisemitism is the Jewish aspect of Christianity - religious intolerance deriving from particularism as opposed to Christian universalism. Shows how the ancient Hebrew Commonwealth, with its particularism, encouraged tolerant coexistence, whereas Christian universalism can be reduced to barbarism, as evinced even to the present day, when the Other is not regarded as a human being and his difference is not tolerated.
Tavares, Maria Jose Pimenta Ferro: Judaismo e Inquisicao: Estudos [Judaism and Inquisition: Essays]. Lisboa: Presenca, 1987. 215 pp.
Analyzes the position of the remaining Jews in Portugal after the expulsion of 1496, their conversion to Christianity, and their struggle for survival as a minority in an intolerant and homogeneous Catholic society. Describes the persecutions and pressures suffered by Conversos accused by the Inquisition of Judaizing. Ch. 2 (pp. 67-104), "Mentalidade antijudaica em Portugal, seculos XIV-XVI," deals with antisemitic elements such as the deicide accusation, the concept of "purity of blood," and the demoniac nature of the Jew in theological and literary works. Chs. 3-5 deal with the Inquisition, its precedents, Diogo da Silva (1485-1541), the first Grand Inquisitor of Portugal, and the trials against Conversos.
Tazbir, Janusz: Das Judenbild der Polen im 16.-18. Jahrhundert. Acta Poloniae Historica 50 (1984) 29-57.
Surveys attitudes towards Jews, and anti-Jewish stereotypes, in 16th-18th century Poland on the basis of pamphlets and popular literature of the period. Examines the attitudes of the nobility and other social classes toward the Jews, and both religious and economic anti-Judaism. States that Jews became the scapegoat for the economic decline of the Republic. The Jews were and remained "outsiders" in the eyes of Poles because only Jews did not assimilate to Polish culture, like the Italians, Germans, Armenians, etc.
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