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Medieval Exegesis and Religious DifferenceCommentary, Conflict, and Community in the Premodern Mediterranean$
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Ryan Szpiech

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264629

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264629.001.0001

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Reconstructing Medieval Jewish–Christian Disputations

Reconstructing Medieval Jewish–Christian Disputations

(p.101) 6 Reconstructing Medieval Jewish–Christian Disputations
Medieval Exegesis and Religious Difference

Ursula Ragacs

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers how the polemical writing of Ramon Martí might shed light on the Disputation of Barcelona in 1263 between Nahmanides and Pablo Christiani. This Disputation, organized by King Jaume I of Aragon at the urging of Pablo and the Dominicans in the circle of Ramon de Penyafort, was the first attempt by the friars to argue that some Jewish sources, especially postbiblical authorities such as the Talmud and the major exegetical midrashim, actually support Christian arguments in favor of accepting Jesus as the Messiah. After introducing the two sources by which the Barcelona Disputation is known—a Hebrew account by Nahmanides himself and a Latin protocol written by a Christian, probably for the Crown of Aragon—the author compares their arguments with Ramon Martí’s writing, in particular his Capistrum Iudaeorum (Muzzle of the Jews) finished in 1267. By tracing the significant commonalities between the Capistrum and the arguments from the Latin and Hebrew accounts of the Disputation, she proposes that Martí’s text might provide a means of inferring the existence of arguments that were not explicitly mentioned in either account.

Keywords:   Disputation of Barcelona, Ramon Martí, Capistrum Iudaeorum, Nahmanides, Ramon de Penyafort

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