Article from “Follow the Wise:” Studies in Jewish History and Culture in Honor of Lee I. Levine (Eisenbrauns, 2010)
By Leonard V. Rutgers
Department of History and Art History
To read this article in its entirety, we have presented it here in PDF format.
The abundant evidence for synagogue building and continuing use within Christian society, the legal protection afforded to Jewish worship,the fact that the Callinicum incident stands out as remarkable rather than commonplace and that it seems difficult to find passages or records of incidents in which Christian preachers actually call for any harsh action against Jewish compatriots, suggests that the Roman Empire in its first Christian phase was rather tolerant by the standards of much of the ancient and much of the modern world. On the level of rhetoric there were some wild flourishes but I think that these are to be found in ancient rhetoric of all kinds - are they not to be found anywhere in Jewish rhetoric about Christianity? The older/younger sibling imagery is not exactly toxic, since it implies that we have the same father as well as that we have some rivalry. As to the idea of identifying and resisting something other than ourselves, that is inherent in all ideology.
#1 - Martin - 09/26/2011 - 16:53