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Augustine's Doctrine of Witness and Attitudes toward the Jews in the Eleventh Century

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Throughout the Middle Ages Augustine of Hippo's doctrine of witness shaped theological attitudes toward the Jews and moderated Christian behavior toward them. Despite the importance of this doctrine, Christian authors sometimes turned away from the doctrine to create a new theological image of the Jew that justified contemporary violence against them. The writings of Ademar of Chabannes (989-1034) demonstrate the temporary abandonment of Augustine's doctrine during a time of heightened apocalypticism and attacks on the Jews. Ademar's writings thus reveal an important moment in the history of relations between Christians and Jews in the Middle Ages.

Affiliations: 1: Religion editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica, 318 McKendimen Rd., Medford, NJ, 08055, USA

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