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On Trees, Waves, And Cytokinesis: Shifting Paradigms In Early (And Modern) Jewish–Christian Relations

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Chapter Summary

Gerard Rouwhorst has distinguished three successive phases in the history of the comparative study of Christian and Jewish liturgy that roughly fit the phases in the study of JewishChristian relations in late antiquity, too. The changing relations between Jews and Christians in the modern Western world may play a role in this paradigm shift. In this chapter, the author regards the tree-stemma or Stammbaum model as a very useful paradigm in many respects. Recently many scholars have complained about rigid applications of the Stammbaum model. Facing similar problems, scholars in linguistics have therefore for more than a century often worked with a wave-modeldiffusion by cultural contact. Finally, the metaphor of cytokinesis illustrates the emergence of early Christianity better than the model of the parting of the ways as it replaces a moment of separation with a complex process that has many beginnings and several ends.

Keywords: cytokinesis; JewishChristian relations; modern Western world; Stammbaum model; tree-stemma; wave-model



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