Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Popes and Jews: 1095-1291

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Popes and Jews: 1095-1291

Article excerpt

MEDIEVAL Popes and Jews: 1095-1291. By Rebecca Rist. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016. Pp. xxi, 336. $110.00. ISBN 978-0-19-871798-0.)

Rebecca Rist has produced a valuable addition to current research on the relationship between the papacy and the Jews in the High Middle Ages (Popes and Jews: 1095-1291). Her previous publications have explored crusading, the medieval papacy, and papal-Jewish relations in narrower contexts; however, this time she delves deeply into the complexity of the relationship between the papacy, in particular, and the Jews, and the paradox of protection (particularly in Rome) and toleration, while also restricting Jewish life. The two-century period on which she focuses spanned a transformational era for European Jews of increasing suspicion, false accusations, and horrific persecution of individuals and whole communities. In exploring the papal-Jewish relationship, Rist builds on seminal works from the explosion of research by prominent scholars since the 1960s into Christian-Jewish relations in the Middle Ages. Scholars such as Kenneth Stow have written numerous articles and books exploring that relationship from the Jewish perspective. Rist's aim, as stated in the appendix, is "to re-focus . . . often neglected themes . . . with regard to specifically papaZ-Jewish relations" (p. 271). This volume seeks to offer a more comprehensive analysis of many aspects of that particular relationship through the use of an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

The chapters in this volume are each dedicated to different aspects of papalJewish interaction, including: papal protection of the Jews, the effect of the Crusades on the Jews, papal claims to authority over the Jews, the papacy and the Roman Jewish community, the Jews and money, and the impact of the crusades on Jews and Jewish communities; however, of special note are the sections devoted to Jewish ideas about the papacy, gleaned from numerous Hebrew sources. …

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