Christian-Jewish Relations 1000-1300: Jews in the Service of Medieval Christendom

24 September, 2024

We are deeply honoured to host Professor Anna Sapir Abulafia‘s book launch Christian–Jewish Relations 1000–1300: Jews in the Service of Medieval Christendom.

Here are more details about this fascinating event.

About the book: This new and revised edition of Christian–Jewish Relations 1000–1300 expands its survey of medieval Christian–Jewish relations in England, Spain, France and Germany with new material on canon law, biblical exegesis and Christian–Jewish polemics, along with an updated Further Reading section. Prof Anna Sapir Abulafia’s balanced yet humane account analyses the theological, socio-economic and political services Jews were required to render to medieval Christendom. The nature of Jewish service varied greatly as Christian rulers struggled to reconcile the desire to profit from the presence of Jewish men and women in their lands with conflicting theological notions about Judaism. Jews meanwhile had to deal with the many competing authorities and interests in the localities in which they lived; their continued presence hinged on a fine balance between theology and pragmatism. The book examines the impact of the Crusades on Christian–Jewish relations and analyses how anti-Jewish libels were used to define relations. Making adept use of both Latin and Hebrew sources, Abulafia draws on liturgical and exegetical material, and narrative, polemical and legal sources, to give a vivid and accurate sense of how Christians interacted with Jews and Jews with Christians.

About the author: Anna Sapir Abulafia is Professor Emerita of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, and an international authority on the medieval Christian–Jewish debate.
Prof Anna Sapir Abulafia was born in New York, moving with her family to The Netherlands in 1967 where she completed her schooling and studied History at the University of Amsterdam. She gained her Candidaats Examen and Doctoraal Examen in History (1974, 1978) and her doctorate in Theology (Church History) in 1984 at the University of Amsterdam and a higher doctorate, LittD, at Cambridge in 2014 (DLitt by incorporation in Oxford 2015). In 1979 she was Wetenschappelijke Medewerker in Medieval History at the University of Amsterdam. After moving to the UK she became a Research Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge (1981-1986) and the Laura Ashley Research Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College (1987-1990). She was Fellow, College Lecturer and Director of Studies in History at Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge (1990-2015) where she was Graduate Tutor (1992-1996), Senior Tutor (1996-2002) and Vice-President (2002-2010). From 2013 to 2015, she was an Affiliated College Lecturer and Director of Studies in History at Newnham College, Cambridge. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1998. In April 2015, she took up the Chair of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and became a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall. In July 2020 she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. The main focus of her research is the interaction of medieval Christianity and Judaism within the broad context of twelfth and thirteenth-century theological and ecclesiastical developments. She retired in September 2022.

Moderator: Professor Aaron Koller, Senior Fellow of the Oxford Interfaith Forum

Date: 24 September, 2024

Time: 18:00-19:00 BST | 19:00-20:00 CEST | 10:00-11:00 PDT | 13:00-14:00 EDT

Venue: Online

Professor Anna Sapir Abulafia’s Publications: