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Aquinas and the Jews

By John Y.B. Hood

Publication Year: 1995

Hood's study contends that Aquinas's writings remain resistant to or skeptical of anti-Jewish trends in thirteenth-century theology. Aquinas sets out simply to clarify and systematize received theological and canonistic teachings on the Jews.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press


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pp. ix-xiv

In 1965, the Catholic Church revised its traditional teaching on the Jews and their place in history. In their "Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions" (Nostm Aetate) the bishops of the Second Vatican Council rejected the idea that all Jews were guilty of the Crucifixion of Jesus, declared persecution of Jews to be immoral

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1. The Theological Tradition

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pp. 1-18

The break with Judaism was the definitive, oedipal event in the history of Christianity. With their decision to turn their backs on the faith of their fathers and abandon the effort to convert their fellow Israelites, the leaders of the nascent Church redirected their energies toward the infinitely more ambitious—yet, paradoxically, more practical—goal of spreading...

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2. The Thirteenth-Century Context

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pp. 19-37

By 1250, when Thomas Aquinas began his career as a mendicant in the Dominican Order, Jews had lived in western Europe time out of mind. Saint Paul wrote to Jewish Christians at Rome in the middle of the first century, and when Constantine died in 337 there was a Jewish settlement at Cologne. Jews immigrated to Moslem Spain in the eighth and ninth...

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3. People of the Promises, People of the Law

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pp. 38-61

For Thomas Aquinas, Christ is the axis of history. Prior to his Incarnation, only those events that prefigured or prepared the way for him had lasting importance; since his Resurrection, the spread of the Gospel and the development of Christian doctrine have been the dominant themes. Everything else—the migration...

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4. Gravissimum Peccatum: The Crucifixion of Christ and the Guilt of the Jews

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pp. 62-76

Like all medieval theologians, Aquinas believed the death of Christ meant the end of Judaism as a legitimate religion. Judaism had been designed by God to prefigure Christ and make it possible for people to recognize him as the Messiah; the entire history of the Jewish people had been a pmepamtio Christi. Now...

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5. The Jews in Christian Society

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pp. 78-105

Aquinas's teaching on the role of Jews in the Christian era rested on three theological pillars. The first of these was the doctrine whose development we traced in the previous chapter: the belief that the exile of the Jews was both a punishment for their role in the Crucifixion and a sign of the triumph of Christianity...

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6. Aquinas and the Persecution of European Jews

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pp. 106-111

At the outset of this study, we posed three questions: What was Aquinas's attitude toward Judaism and the Jews? What were its social and theological sources? How did Aquinas contribute to medieval hostility and violence toward Jews? Having dealt with the first two...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. 113-114


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pp. 115-136


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pp. 137-140


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pp. 141-145

E-ISBN-13: 9780812200447
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812215236

Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 1995

OCLC Number: 44964326
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Aquinas and the Jews

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Subject Headings

  • Judaism -- Relations -- Christianity.
  • Christianity and other religions -- Judaism.
  • Christianity and antisemitism -- History.
  • Thomas, Aquinas, Saint, 1225?-1274.
  • Judaism (Christian theology) -- History of doctrines -- Middle Ages, 600-1500.
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