Workshop “...Is There Anything New under the Sun in Polemics?”, November 14th–15th, 2017

Jewish-Christian controversy is contemporaneous with the separation of the nascent Christian community from its Jewish background. From the moment of its birth, polemical discourse exhibited great diversity both in the method of argumentation as well as in style and form. Polemical “encounters,” in the widest sense of the word, manifested themselves in variegated forms such as biblical interpretations, philosophical treatises, liturgy, sermons, stories, descriptions of real or imaginative disputations, chronicles, legal works, poetry, mystical works, and quite often they were written in separate treatises.
In addition, the polemical intention often expressed itself in non-verbal forms, e.g. in wall paintings or illustrations of manuscripts or books. In the long history of Jewish-Christian controversy the actual forms and “norms” of polemical literature always arose from prevailing circumstances.
The workshop aims at filling a historiographical gap and shedding new light on the phenomenon of change and continuity in the history of Jewish-Christian polemical encounters.

Organization: Research Platform RaT, Institute of Jewish Studies (University of Vienna), Department of the History of Jewish People (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)