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Critique and Apologetics

Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity


Edited By Jörg Ulrich, David Brakke and Anders-Christian Jacobsen

This book contains 13 contributions from an international conference held in 2007. The idea of the conference was to investigate the confrontations and the cultural, philosophical and religious exchange between different religious groups in antiquity and to establish a more comprehensive theory about what apologetics was considered to be both in the context of antiquity and from the perspective of modern scholarship: is it possible to define a literary genre called apologetics? Is it possible to talk about apologetics as a certain kind of discourse which is not limited to a special kind of texts? Which argumentative strategies are implied in apologetic discourses? The essays in this volume present a new approach to these questions.


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Criticism of Judaism in Greek and Roman Sources: Charges andApologetics (Second Century BC to Second Century AD) 59


Criticism of Judaism in Greek and Roman Sources: Charges and Apologetics (Fourth Century BC to Second Century AD)1 Oda Wischmeyer 1. Approaches 1.1. The subject of the 'Criticism of Judaism in Greek and Roman Sources' opens a densely researched field of philological textual ex- egesis, historical reconstruction and historical cause study. Here the scholarly debate about anti-Semitism, which is widely ramified and influenced by diverse interests and different levels of knowledge, is still in the lead, linking historical, methodical, ethical and politi- cal aspects. Focussing on academic literature on the relevant ancient texts alone, which constitute but one early section of the European literature on anti-Semitism, reveals the sheer abundance of publica- tions in this field. Questions are raised, specified and modified; they coincide, are attacked, revoked, and abandoned.2 Particularly the advance of research on anti-Semitism in the ancient world occurred intermittently, where new approaches were generally devised in con- tradiction to - or at least decidedly amending - previous ones. My contribution "Criticism of Judaism in Greek and Roman Sources' will be placed in this intricate and sensitive field as follows: ' I wish to thank Susanne Luther from my Erlangen chair of New Testament for taking care of the English translation of my paper. 2 See Z. Yavetz, Judeophobia in Classical Antiquity, in: JJS 44 (1993), 1-22; P. Schäfer, Judeophobia. Attitudes towards the Jews in the Ancient World, Cambridge 1997,197-211. Schäfer refers to Gavin I. Langmuir and J.N. Sevenster. Recently: H. Lichtenberger, Judaeophobia -...

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