TitleConstructing Borders between Christians and Jews
Date/TimeTuesday 5 July 2022: 11.15-12.45
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairNeta B. Bodner, Department of Literature, Languages & the Arts, Open University of Israel
Paper 624-a Bernard of Clairvaux on the Boundary: Preventing the Conversion of the Jews to Christianity
(Language: English)
James Kroemer, Department of Theology, Concordia University, Wisconsin
Index Terms: Ecclesiastical History; Theology
Paper 624-b The Belonging and the Exclusion of Jews in the Biblical Hermeneutics of Maximus the Confessor
(Language: English)
Irena Avsenik Nabergoj, Institute for Cultural History, Slovenian Academy of Sciences & Arts, Ljubljana / Institute for the Bible, Judaism & Early Christianity, University of Ljubljana
Index Terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Language and Literature - Comparative; Religious Life; Theology
Paper 624-c Susanna and the Elders: A Case of Liminal Canonicity
(Language: English)
Jonathan Stavsky, Department of English & American Studies, Tel Aviv University
Index Terms: Biblical Studies; Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Manuscripts and Palaeography
AbstractPaper -a:
In Book Three of his treatise to Pope Eugenius III, De consideratione, Bernard of Clairvaux urged the Pope to make every effort to convert the unbelieving to the Christian faith. However, Bernard insisted that, at this time, Eugenius was excused from attempting to convert the Jews to Christianity or correct the theology of the Judaism. Why? Based on his interpretation of Romans 11:25, Bernard explained that the Jews have a boundary (terminum) preventing their conversion. The paper will explain what this boundary is, and how the concept fits in to Bernard's understanding of the divine chronology of the world.

Paper -b:
The paper is based on an analysis of an extremely large number of passages, which in Maximus the Confessor's (580-662) book The Life of the Virgin depicts the negative image of the Jews as reflected in the prophetic critique of the Jews in the Old and New Testaments. The depictions of Jews by Maximus based on biblical texts show quite clearly aspects of understanding the boundaries between Christians and Jews in the 7th century in the interaction between belonging and exclusion. All the fundamental aspects of the negative image of the Jews as a people who do not follow God's plan of salvation but artificially set boundaries in relation to Non-Jews, appear throughout the Middle Ages in the types of meditations in the literary tradition vita Christi and planctus Mariae, in the writings of Revelations by Birgid of Sweden and in non-liturgical folk prayers throughout Europe.

The story of Susanna and the Elders from the Additions to the Book of Daniel is a borderline narrative. Included in the Vulgate Bible despite Jerome's reservations about its canonical status, it posed a challenge to late antique and medieval exegetes who endeavoured to define or defend its place in the canon. Opinions ranged from a conspiracy theory according to which the rabbinical establishment had sought to excise the chapter because it reflected badly upon Jewish elders to attempts to uphold its historical - though not inspired - value based on Jewish witness. Susanna thus served to negotiate fluid textual and communitarian boundaries.