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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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Papal Claims to Authority over Judaism

Papal Claims to Authority over Judaism

(p.164) 5 Papal Claims to Authority over Judaism
Popes and Jews, 1095–1291

Rebecca Rist

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that as canon law developed from the 1160s onwards, it both augmented and justified the papacy’s central role in Europe, while also encouraging in the faithful the sense of a common Christian purpose superseding territorial identities and directed by the pope. Popes sought to clarify relations between Christians and Jews on an ongoing basis and in particular reacted to a newly perceived threat to Christianity from the Talmud, eventually declaring that their authority extended over all infidels, including Jews, as well as over Christians, and that they had a duty to prevent heresies within Judaism itself. In the thirteenth century they became increasingly preoccupied with the idea of a separation of the two faiths and this attitude coloured, although without fundamentally changing, subsequent statements of protection.

Keywords:   papacy, authority, rhetoric, power, Christian society, canon law, Talmud, heresy, protection, Judaism

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