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Jewish Philosophical Polemics Against Christianity in the Middle Ages: With a New Introduction$
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Daniel J. Lasker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113515

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113515.001.0001

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(p.161) Chapter Eight Conclusions
Jewish Philosophical Polemics Against Christianity in the Middle Ages: With a New Introduction

Daniel J. Lasker

Liverpool University Press

This concluding chapter focuses on the nature of Jewish–Christian polemics and intellectual relations. It is clear from the discussion of philosophical arguments that those Jews who participated in anti-Christian polemics had a fairly good knowledge of the beliefs with which they disagreed. Though some Jewish polemicists had a much greater knowledge of Christianity than others, most of those engaged in religious debates had a fairly good understanding of Christianity. They learned about Christian beliefs from frequent contact with Christian polemicists and missionaries. Another feature of the medieval Jewish philosophical critique of Christianity is the fact that the Jewish arguments were rarely original. It is rather easy to find the sources of these contentions in Christian heretical literature, Muslim Kalam, or orthodox Christian works which were intended to answer heterodox objections. Most of the philosophical arguments found in the works of Jewish polemicists can also be discovered in various earlier sources. The chapter then studies the role of philosophy in Jewish–Christian polemics, and discusses the significance of the medieval Jewish philosophical polemic against Christianity.

Keywords:   Jewish–Christian polemics, anti-Christian polemics, Jewish polemicists, Christianity, Christian beliefs, Jewish philosophical polemic, Christian polemicists, Christian missionaries, philosophical arguments

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