Medieval Antisemitism?
Medieval Antisemitism?
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1: Historians, ‘Medieval anti-Semitism’ and Anachronism. 2: Blood Libel and Host Desecration: Collective Demonization. 3: The stereotyping of medieval Jews and the essentialization of ‘Jewish Perfidy’. 4: The Impact of the Mendicant Orders. 5: Purity of Blood: The Iberian Exception? Conclusion

Reviews and Features

"Das erschreckende Wiedererstarken des Antisemitismus in Europa gibt Anlass zu erneuter kritischer Reflexion über die »Wurzeln« des Phänomens beziehungsweise über seinen Ort in der »westlichen« Tradition. Vor diesem Hintergrund widmet sich François Soyers willkommener Essay speziell der Frage, ob und in welchem Sinn von »mittelalterlichem Antisemitismus« gesprochen werden kann ... Der Autor einen zeitgemäßen Diskussionsbeitrag zu einem — ganz im Sinne des Reihentitels — unerledigten Problem der europäischen Geschichte." - Christoph Cluse, Francia-Recensio2020, 3

Francois Soyer

Medieval Antisemitism?

Is it possible to talk about antisemitism in the Middle Ages before the appearance of scientific concepts of "race"? In this work, François Soyer examines the nature of medieval anti-Jewish sentiment and violence. Analysing developments in Europe between 1100 and 1500, he points to the tensions in medieval anti-Jewish thought amongst thinkers who hoped to convert Jews and blamed Talmudic scholarship for their obduracy and yet who also, conversely, often essentialized Judaism to the point that it transformed into the functional equivalent of the modern concept of race. In a nuanced manner, he argues that, just as many historians now refer to "racisms" in the plural, we should not consider antisemitism as a monolithic concept but accept the existence of independent historical meanings and thus of antisemitisms (plural), including "medieval antisemitism" as distinct from anti-Judaism.
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Francois Soyer

Francois Soyer (PhD Cambridge 2007) is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of New England in Australia.