Special Issue "Between Jews and Christians"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2020.
Interests: history of religions; religious studies; christianity; judaism; gnosticism; greek religion; roman religion; dualism
In recent years, historiography has begun paying attention to the relationship between Judaism and early Christianity; the Jewish roots of Christianity; and the causes, modalities, and timing of the progressive fracture between them.
Despite the normalizing factor which sees Judaism as the only heir to the Yahwistic tradition, at the birth of Christianity, the situation was very complex and varied. Alongside Judaism, with its classic separation into several groups, we find other non-Jewish traditions, such as the Samaritan and the Galilean ones. In this context, Christianity originates, then gradually detaches itself from Judaism. In this detachment, we can recognize three progressive phases. The first is the Apostolic phase, with openness to the gentle world and awareness of the universality of the message. In this phase, Christianity is proposed as a messianic form of Judaism. There is an internal dialectic to rising Christianity, and a Christian-Jewish dialectic. The catastrophe of 70 precipitates positions, especially due to the crisis suffered by Palestinian Judaism for the destruction of the Temple. Probably around the year 100 A.D., this second phase of controversy and clash between Jews and Christians ends, and the next phase begins which leads to an increasingly decisive climate of confrontation and mutual hatred, accompanied by the progressive marginalization of Judaism.
Meanwhile, a process of reductio ad unum takes place in Judaism, from which only rabbinic Judaism will survive. While the other forms of interpretation of the Jewish tradition, already first marginalized in the production process of the Torah and in the centralization of the worship in Jerusalem, tend to disappear, Rabbinic Judaism will have a normalizing effect on previous traditions. The only eccentric element that survived after 70 A.D. is Christianity, which however soon broke away from the Judaic substratum.
The purpose of the volume is to investigate how much the Samaritan culture, but also the popular culture spread throughout Palestine above all in its most marginal (both culture-wise and geography-wise) areas, contributed to the birth of Early Christianity, and to its progressive detachment from Judaism. Moreover, we will try to understand how much the progressive Hellenization and the development of an anti-Yahwistic dualism (first in Marcion, and then in Gnosticism) contributed to this process.
Dr. Augusto Cosentino
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- Early Christianity