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Christian Identity, Jews, and Israel in 17th-Century England$
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Achsah Guibbory

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557165

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557165.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Christian Identity, Jews, and Israel in 17th-Century England

Achsah Guibbory

Oxford University Press

This Introduction discusses how Christianity had defined itself in relation to Judaism, Jews, and the Hebrew Bible. After looking at the Gospels, Paul, and Augustine, it explains how the Reformation renegotiated the relation between Christianity and Judaism, as Protestantism had to redefine ‘true’ Christianity in separating from the Church of Rome. The Old Testament was read differently, and the hermeneutics of typology changed. Luther appropriated Israelite history to describe the deliverance of the Church. Calvin defined a way of reading the Old Testament that became useful in England, where identification with biblical Israel served to construct religious identity and the nation. Calvin enabled English Christians to identify with ancient Jews living before Christ, even as they remained suspicious of Jews and Judaism. The increased interest in biblical Israel led to a sense that Israel's history was England's, intensifying the problematic of Christian‐Jewish relations.

Keywords:   Calvin, Luther, Paul, Augustine, Reformation, Old Testament, Judaism, biblical Israel, England, history

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