Jewish Christianity

Annette Yoshiko Reed

in Biblical Studies

ISBN: 9780195393361
Published online August 2011 | | DOI:
Jewish Christianity

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“Jewish Christianity” is a modern scholarly category. In 19th- and early-20th-century scholarship, this and related terms (e.g., Judenchristentum, Judéo-christianisme, Judaeo-Christianity) were used primarily in discussions of the apostolic Jerusalem Church led by Peter and James, the traditions about them preserved in the Pseudo-Clementine literature, and the Ebionites and Nazoraeans mentioned in Patristic catalogues of “heresies.” Jewish Christianity continues to be studied along these lines. With the flowering of research on Jewish/Christian relations after World War II, the topic has also attracted new interest; special attention has been given to the possible place of Jewish Christians as early agents or targets of anti-Jewish polemics, as well as to the fate of Jewish Christianity and its consequences for the history of Jewish/Christian relations. In addition, the scope of materials brought to bear on Jewish Christianity has been expanded to include a range of archaeological, documentary, and literary data that might attest the combination of “Christian” beliefs with “Jewish” identity and practice—whether in direct continuity with the apostolic Jerusalem Church or in other early expressions of Christianity’s Jewish heritage. At the same time, increased attention to the Jewish cultural matrix of the Jesus Movement and early Christianity has contributed to heated debates about the definition of “Jewish Christianity” and its heurism as a category. More recently, evidence for Jewish Christianity has played an important part in studies of Christianity’s so-called Parting of the Ways with Judaism, and the topic has been richly discussed in relation to hybridity, heresiology, the dynamics of religious self-definition, and the challenges of constructing modern categories for the study of ancient identities.

Article.  12076 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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