By Miriam S. Taylor
Opposed to the scholarly consensus that assumes early Christians have been concerned in a competition for converts with modern Jews, this publication exhibits that the aim of patristic writers was once relatively a symbolic Judaism, and their goal was once to outline theologically the younger church's identification. In determining and categorizing the hypotheses recommend via glossy students to guard their view of a Jewish-Christian "conflict", this booklet demonstrates how present theories have generated defective notions in regards to the perceptions and motivations of old Christians and Jews. past its relevance to scholars of the early church, this publication addresses the broader query of Christian accountability for contemporary anti-Semitism. It exhibits how the point of interest on a supposedly social contention, obscures the intensity and disquieting nature of the connections among early anti-Judaism and Christian identification.
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Extra resources for Anti-Judaism and Early Christian Identity: A Critique of the Scholarly Consensus (Studia Post-Biblica)
Indeed, Simon goes o n to say, the phenomenon is "only fully cwnprehensible if die Jews actively participated" in creating it. It follows, according to Simon, diat the "judaizing influence implies the survival of a missionary, proselytizing spirit in Israel" (Simon 1986: 269-70). For Simon, dien judaizing seems to provide confirmation of all the essential aspects of die "conflict theory". In fact, Simon is so convinced of die intimate connection between judaizing and proselytizing that he is prepared to use the judaizing evidence as confirmation of his proselytizing theory.
Just as scholars see the phenomenon of judaizing as an indication tiiat Jews came fishing for conquests in tiie Christian camp, so it is assumed tiiat the Christians, on their side, had an interest in winning over their rivals the Jews, as well as in making new gentile converts. Indeed, "embittered" anti-Judaism characterizes what is generally thought to be tiie church's reaction to its failure to convert the Jews, its inability to convince tiie people to whom tiie Messiah was first sent, diat He had come at last.
Chrysostom sometimes is carried away by his own metaphcffs" (Meeks & Wilken 1978: 32). He admits himself that he has come to lust for combat against the Jews. The real concem of the homilies, conclude Meeks and Wilken, is not with the Jews as aggressors, but with die strange Christian attraction to Judaism, which die church father seeks to curb. "The remedies which Chrysostom prescribes also support the impression that he feared Christian fascination with Judaism more than active Jewish recmitment of Christians" (Meeks & Wilken 1978: 33).
Anti-Judaism and Early Christian Identity: A Critique of the Scholarly Consensus (Studia Post-Biblica) by Miriam S. Taylor