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Title: The attitude of St. Bernard of Clairvaux toward the Jews.
Authors: Berger, David
Keywords: St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
anti-Jewish attitude
Jews in twelfth century Europe
Issue Date: 1972
Publisher: American Academy for Jewish Research. Proceedings (American Academy for Jewish Research)
Citation: Berger, D. (1972). The attitude of St. Bernard of Clairvaux toward the Jews. Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, vol. 40 (1972): 89-108
Series/Report no.: American Academy for Jewish Research. Proceedings (American Academy for Jewish Research);1972
Abstract: St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was a pivotal figure in the intellectual and political changes that shook Western Christendom in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Apostle of the Gregorian reformers, Bernard believed not merely in the primacy of religion but in its right to control all political and social phenomena. Consequently, he became the self-appointed conscience of Europe; he chastised kings, advised popes, and exercised an undeniable influence upon the most significant religious and secular decisions of his time. ¶ Bernard was, furthermore, in the forefront of the revolution in Christian piety that had begun in the eleventh century. He practically founded a new and more rigorous monastic order, contributed to the burgeoning Mary cult, and helped to strengthen popular piety. These intellectual and emotional changes certainly played some role in the broadening and intensification of anti-Jewish feeling in the second half of the Middle Ages. ¶ The question we shall try to answer in this paper is whether Bernard himself was impelled by these forces toward a more strongly anti-Jewish attitude than his predecessors. As we shall see, he presents a fascinating case study of the increasing tension between the standard theological rationale for tolerating Jews in its most liberal form and the growing hatred for Jews in twelfth century Europe. (from Introduction)
Description: Scholarly article
ISSN: ISSN: 0065-6798, 2325-9183
Appears in Collections:Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies (BRGS): Faculty Publications

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