The relationship between Jews and Christians in medieval Europe was extremely complex and marked by many contradictions. Though they comprised identifiably distinct communities, to a great extent Jews and Christians lived side by side in relative harmony. From the twelfth century, conditions for Jews began to deteriorate: there were increasing restrictions on Jewish economic activity and social interaction, ritual murder charges, the trial and burning of the Talmud, forced sermons and disputations, and, eventually, the expulsion of Jews from many Western European lands. But even during precarious times, the two communities continued to inhabit a common cultural space, and within specific local contexts, to enjoy peaceful coexistence. This seminar will explore positive as well as negative encounters between Jews and Christians in Medieval Europe and wrestle with the difficult question of toleration and its limits in medieval context. Subjects will include legal and social relations, economic ties, intellectual and cultural exchanges and influences, changing images of the Other, violence, and the expulsion of Jews from western lands.
Students are expected to attend and participate in every class. All reading is to be completed before the class for which it is assigned. Graded work for the seminar will include class participation (20%) 2 four-page critical essays (20% each) and a final research paper (40%). Students will also be expected to initiate discussion on at least one week's reading. The class participation grade will be based on attendance, the level of your preparedness to discuss the material, your leadership of discussion during one assigned week, and your general involvement in the seminar. Please note that students must complete all written work in order to receive a passing grade for the class.
Elisheva Baumgarten, Mothers and Children: Jewish Family
Life in Medieval Europe
Mark Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross. The Jews in the Middle Ages
Jonathan Elukin, Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish-Christian Relations in the Middle Ages
Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance
R. I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society
David Nirenberg, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages
Miri Rubin, Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews
Also: a collection of articles available in pdf format on the courseinfo site and a number of internet documents linked directly to the course syllabus. Copies of required books will be held on 24 hour reserve in Mugar Library.
Students will be asked to write two four-page papers over the course of the semester. There will be six different paper topics linked to specific weeks on the syllabus, and students may choose whichever two they wish. Undergraduate students will write a research paper (15 pages) on a topic of their own choosing. Graduate students should prepare the final paper in the form of a bibliographic (or historiographic) essay.
Reading: The Letter of Paul to the Galatians, chapters 1-4, and The Letter of Paul to the Romans, chapters 9-11 (any version of the New Testament will do; these online links are just here for your convenience); excerpts from Augustine.
Mark Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages, Chapters 1-4; Anna Sapir Abulafia, "From Northern Europe to Southern Europe and from the General to the Particular: Recent Research on Jewish-Christian Coexistence in Medieval Europe," Journal of Medieval History 23 (1997), 179-190 [courseinfo]
Jonathan Elukin, Living Together, Living Apart, Introduction and Chapter 2; Bernard Bachrach, Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Europe, Chapter 4 [courseinfo]; Robert Chazan, Church, State and Jew in the Middle Ages, 57-63; 69-75 [courseinfo]; Trade routes of the Radanites
Readings: German Pilgrimage; Urban II's sermon on Crusade; Hebrew account of the Mainz massacre, 1096; Two Latin accounts of the massacre; Map of Europe at the time of the First Crusade; Map of Crusader States ca. 1100; Jeremy Cohen, Sanctifying the Name of God: Jewish Martyrs and Jewish Memories of the First Crusade [courseinfo]; Eva Haverkamp, "What did the Christians know? Latin reports on the persecutions of Jews in 1096," Crusades 7 (2008)
R. I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society; Selections from the Fourth Lateran Council: A-general; B-heresy; C-Jews; Innocent III on the Jews; Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance, Chapters 1, 3, 4, 6, 8
Cary Nederman, "Discourses and Contexts of Tolerance in Medieval Europe," Beyond the Persecuting Society. Religious Toleration before the Enlightenment, J. Laursen and C. Nederman, eds., 13-24 [courseinfo]; Gary Remer, "Ha-Me'iri's Theory of Religious Toleration," Beyond the Persecuting Society. Religious Toleration before the Enlightenment, 71-91 [courseinfo]. Jonathan Elukin, Living Together, Living Apart, Chapter 4; Joseph Shatzmiller, Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society [courseinfo]
Jonathan Elukin, Living Together, Living Apart Chapter 3; Elisheva Baumgarten, Mothers and Children: Jewish Family Life in Medieval Europe
Readings: Mark Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross, Chapter 5; Joseph Shatzmiller, Shylock Reconsidered, 84-126 [courseinfo]; Robert Chazan, Church, State, and Jew in the Middle Ages, 197-217 [courseinfo]; Jewish Christian partnership in Barcelona 1242.
Research Paper Proposals Due
Readings: Aryeh Graboïs, "The Hebraica Veritas and Jewish-Christian Intellectual Relations in the Twelfth Century" Speculum 50 (1975), 613-634 (access on line via JSTOR); Olszowy-Schlanger, Judith. "The Knowledge and Practice of Hebrew Grammar among Christian Scholars in Pre-Expulsion England: The Evidence of 'Bilingual' Hebrew-Latin Manuscripts," Hebrew Scholarship in the Medieval World, edited by Nicholas de Lange, 107-28 [courseinfo]; J. Cohen, "Scholarship and Intolerance," American Historical Review 91 (1986), 592-613 [available on JSTOR]; Daniel Lasker, Jewish Philosophical Polemics Against Christianity in the Middle Ages, 1-24; 153-168 [courseinfo]; Gilbert Crispin; Toledot Yeshu
Readings: M. Rubin, Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews; Israel Yuval, Two Nations are in Your Womb: Perceptions of Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, 135-204 [courseinfo]; Robert Chazan, Church, State and Jew in the Middle Ages, 123-128 [courseinfo].
Readings: Sara Lipton, Images of Intolerance: The Representation of Jews and Judaism in the Bible Moralisée [courseinfo] ; Marc Epstein, Dreams of Subversion in Medieval Jewish Art and Literature [courseinfo].
David Nirenberg, Communities of Violence, Jonathan Elukin, Living Together, Living Apart, Chapter 5
Readings: W. C. Jordan, "Princely Identity and the Jews in Medieval France," Wolfenbütteler Mittelalter-Studien 11 (Wiesbaden, 1996), 257-273 [courseinfo]; Robert Chazan, Church, State and Jew in the Middle Ages, 310-319 [courseinfo]; An Italian Hebrew account of the Spanish Expulsion, Yosef Yerushalmi, Exile and Expulsion in Jewish History," Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World 1391-1648, 3-22; Edward Peters, "Jewish History and Gentile Memory: The Expulsion of 1492," Jewish History 9 (1995) 9-32 Please be sure to read the full edict of expulsion on pp. 23-28! [courseinfo]