B. Christians and Jews
David Shyovitz, Associate Professor, History
In the pre-modern period, Christians routinely subjected Jews to religiously inspired violence, expulsions, and persecution, and adamantly believed that unconverted Jews would be doomed to eternal Hellfire. Jews, for their part, composed a host of polemical works that lambasted Christians for their purported idolatry, stupidity, and savagery. Yet today, Jews and Christians are commonly believed to be joint participants in an idyllic “Judeo-Christian tradition.” This course will attempt to grapple with the disparity between these overarching views by exploring the varying, nuanced ways in which Jews and Christians have related to and perceived of one another, from the Biblical period to the present. We will examine a range of textual, artistic, and literary sources, and investigate some of the theological, social, and cultural dynamics that have shaped Jewish-Christian relations over a wide geographical and chronological expanse.