Dr. Sophia Schmitt
27 teaching hours, equivalent to 3 ECTS

Sophia Schmitt is a research fellow and lecturer at the Institute for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. She specializes in medieval Jewish history, focusing on the social, legal, cultural, and economic relations between Jews and Christians in medieval Ashkenaz. She received her Ph.D. in Medieval History from Munich University, Germany in 2020. She has been awarded fellowships at Munich University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, Hebrew University Jerusalem, and the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University.

This course offers a comprehensive analysis of the intricate and interwoven history of Jewish-Christian relations, spanning from the Roman Empire to the present day. Beginning with the mutual influences and increasing divergences of nascent Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, we will examine the nuanced dynamics that have shaped their complex relationship in the following centuries. We’ll study how anti-Judaism and everyday collaborations evolved during the Middle Ages and beyond, delving into the new pressures of the Reformation and Christian Hebraism at the beginning of the modern era. We will consider the consequences of secularization, the role of Christianity in the Holocaust, and the subsequent reorientation of Jewish-Christian dialogue post-Holocaust. With a focus on the historical context, we will scrutinize the emergence of new developments, conflicts, and continuities, all of which have played a pivotal role in shaping religious identities. By exploring a diverse range of contexts, including seminal texts, theological debates, halachic deliberations, interfaith controversies, everyday interactions, liturgical practices, public discourse, institutional manifestations, and political repercussions, we will gain profound insights into their shared history and contemporary perspectives.