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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 April 2021

Jewish Ideas about the Papacy

Jewish Ideas about the Papacy

(p.28) 1 Jewish Ideas about the Papacy
Popes and Jews, 1095–1291

Rebecca Rist

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Jewish ideas about popes and the papacy through a range of contemporary and later sources including folktales, chronicles, responsa, and disputational literature. Jewish writers were obviously concerned to ensure the safety of their communities in western Europe and grateful for statements of papal protection. They were also highly critical of Christian beliefs about the papacy, in particular the theory of apostolic succession. Yet they fully acknowledged that popes had always played and would continue to play an important role in safeguarding their well-being and determining their future. Nevertheless, although contemporary and later Jewish writers often valued papal protection more highly than that of monarchs, emperors, or other clergy, they also knew it had its circumscribed limits. Though respectful of the papacy’s power, both spiritual and temporal, they were dismissive of the Scriptural and theological formulations on which Christian claims for apostolic authority rested.

Keywords:   Jewish–Christian relations, memory, community, folktales, chronicles, rabbinic responsa, disputational literature, Jewish polemic, Apostolic Succession, Jewish writers

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