One hallmark of the Christianization of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity was a preoccupation with dividing people into discrete categories. Primarily motivated by concerns over the porous boundaries that imperfectly separated various religious communities from one another in social reality, this drive to define "self" and "other" represented a potent means for managing - while never homogenizing or eliminating - difference. Indeed, this period saw the rapid crystallization of the ideological desire and institutional capacity of both church and state to classify, manage, and, in some cases, subject to targeted acts of violence various dissident religious groupings with whom Christians might feel themselves to be in conflict, Jews among them. Jewish historians and scholars of rabbinic Judaism have persuasively stressed the formative impact that the Christianization of the Roman Empire had on the nature of Jewishness as a social category, as well as on the forms and structures of Jewish culture and society from the late fourth to early sixth century. Yet, at the same time, it has been rightly observed that, to a significant degree, the Jewish populations of the Roman Empire remained fully integrated in the venerable structures of Mediterranean life well into the sixth century. What, then, are we to make of this puzzling juxtaposition between the far-reaching impact of Christianization on Jews and Judaism, on the one hand, and the broad continuities in the fabric of Mediterranean society, on the other?

Jewish Culture and Society in a Christianizing Empire

Sanzo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2014

Abstract

One hallmark of the Christianization of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity was a preoccupation with dividing people into discrete categories. Primarily motivated by concerns over the porous boundaries that imperfectly separated various religious communities from one another in social reality, this drive to define "self" and "other" represented a potent means for managing - while never homogenizing or eliminating - difference. Indeed, this period saw the rapid crystallization of the ideological desire and institutional capacity of both church and state to classify, manage, and, in some cases, subject to targeted acts of violence various dissident religious groupings with whom Christians might feel themselves to be in conflict, Jews among them. Jewish historians and scholars of rabbinic Judaism have persuasively stressed the formative impact that the Christianization of the Roman Empire had on the nature of Jewishness as a social category, as well as on the forms and structures of Jewish culture and society from the late fourth to early sixth century. Yet, at the same time, it has been rightly observed that, to a significant degree, the Jewish populations of the Roman Empire remained fully integrated in the venerable structures of Mediterranean life well into the sixth century. What, then, are we to make of this puzzling juxtaposition between the far-reaching impact of Christianization on Jews and Judaism, on the one hand, and the broad continuities in the fabric of Mediterranean society, on the other?
The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3730131
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