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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: March 2008

38 - Christian anti-Judaism: polemics and policies

Summary

The Church endorsed by Constantine in the early fourth century represented a form of Christianity that drew most directly upon the traditions and Scriptures of Israel. To understand imperial Christianity's policies toward Jews and Judaism requires an appreciation of its foundational history in the second century, when the younger community fought doctrinal diversity within and persecution without. During this earlier period, the seeds of orthodoxy's anti-Judaism, which flourished especially from the late fourth century onward, developed and became established. Orthodoxy's awareness of and insistence on a historical connection between Judaism and Christianity had expressed itself both theologically and socially in various ways from the second to fifth centuries. Religious and social mixing between different types of Jews and Christians, between Christians of different sorts, and between Christians, Jews, and pagans all continued. Church and state collaborated in the Christianization of late Roman culture; however, no immediate correspondence between law, theology, and society can be presumed.
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