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Popes and Jews, 1095–1291$
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Rebecca Rist

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717980.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Popes and Jews, 1095–1291

Rebecca Rist

Oxford University Press

This Introduction examines the idea of papal pronouncements as responses to secular and religious authorities in the context of the continually changing economic and social conditions of medieval Europe, the developing idea of the nation state, the growing bureaucracy and centrality of the papal curia, and the different characters and lengths of pontificate of those who governed the Apostolic See. It is argued that traditional Christian theology ensured that popes were committed to protecting the Jews, but that they also believed that they must ensure the spiritual welfare of Christian society—and that this led them increasingly to restrict Jewish activities. This Introduction also provides the reader with an overview of recent historiography on the complex subject of papal–Jewish relations.

Keywords:   papal pronouncements, secular authorities, religious authorities, medieval Europe, papal curia, Apostolic See, Christian theology, spiritual welfare, historiography, papal–Jewish relations

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