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Anti-Semitism in the Miracle Tales of the Virgin

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Fantasy is a force in the anti-Semitic portrayals of Jews in medieval Christianity's miracle tales. Christians told these tales in order to forge a collective identity in which the Jew became the Other. This paper addresses Christian fantasies about Jews as well as the cultural and historical circumstances that made the tales popular. The three tales chosen for discussion- "The Child Slain by the Jews," The Jewish Boy," and "The Merchant's Surety"-demonstratc how anti-Semitic tales were useful in helping Christianity foster survival.

Affiliations: 1: Montclair State University


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