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"Slay Them Not": Augustine and the Jews in Modern Scholarship

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This essay lays the historiographical foundation for a forthcoming book on ideas of the Jew in medieval Christianity, ideas which depended considerably on Augustine's doctrine of 'Jewish witness": the notion that the Jews served a vital testimonial function in a properly ordered Christian society. Following a brief explanation of the doctrine and its historical significance, attention turns to its treatment by its three most important investigators of the last half century: Bernhard Blumenkranz, a medieval historian; Marcel Dubois, an authority on medieval scholastic philosophy; and Paula Fredriksen, a scholar of patristics. In each case, the essay discusses the writer's contribution to the field, exploring his/her presuppositions and methodology and assessing the need for still further research.


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