Hyam Maccoby's now classic study focuses on the major Jewish—Christian disputations of medieval Europe: those of Paris (1240), Barcelona (1263), and Tortosa (1413–14). It examines the content of these theological confrontations with a sense of present-day relevance, while also discussing the use made of scriptural proof-texts. Part I provides a general thematic consideration of the three disputations and their social and historical background. Part II is a complete translation of the account of the Barcelona Disputation written by Nahmanides, one of the greatest figures in the history of Jewish learning, and was Jewish spokesman at the disputation. Part III contains Jewish and Christian accounts of the Paris and Tortosa disputations.
A new introduction reviews the relevant literature that has been published since the original edition appeared.
'A classic text of three famous disputations ... When the book first appeared in 1982 it received much praise, and it certainly deserves the new paperback edition which has now been brought out.'
'For those coming to this book for the first time, Judaism on Trial is a fascinating and gripping account; for students, it has enough material to bear re-reading and studying in depth. Its strength is not only that it is a most scholastic and erudite work, but that it makes compulsive reading. We await his further works with anticipation and excitement.'
Alan Orchover, Jewish Book News & Reviews
'Maccoby has rendered an important service in making their salient features available in English. ... certainly not only for scholars in that Maccoby has blended this learning with an exposition of the issues involved that is accessible to the layman. Both Jew and Christian will learn much from the records of these confrontations, which are important in Jewish history.'
Lionel Kochan, Jewish Chronicle
'A superb work of committed scholarship ... Judaism on Trial is a work full of interest to those already familiar with the material it contains, and compelling reading for those who are not. Maccoby has done a fine job in recapturing the intellectual and social drama of the confrontations. ... Altogether an impressive addition to the already outstanding Littman Library of Jewish Civilization.'
Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Journal of Sociology
'Prefaced by a most competent introduction ... should be obligatory reading for both the student of Jewish history and the intelligent layman not only because of its literary and expositional merits, which are considerable, but because it highlights an important stratagem of the medieval Church in its attempts to convert contemporary Jewry to the dominant faith.'
Sydney Leperer, Le'ela