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Jewish History from Biblical Times to the Present

Thursday, January 26, 2023 4 Shevat 5783

8:30 PM - 9:30 PM


Nina Caputo, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of History, University of Florida “The Barcelona Disputation of 1263”

The Barcelona Disputation (1263) was a watershed moment in the history of medieval Jewish-Christian relations. Or was it? In this theological debate, the Nahmanides (R. Moses ben Nahman, 1194-1270), arguably the greatest rabbinic teacher and leader of his time, was called by King James of Aragon to defend Judaism against arguments by Friar Pablo Christiani, a convert from Judaism, that the rabbis of the Talmud recognized Jesus as the Jewish messiah. For the church, this public disputation offered an opportunity to test a missionizing strategy in a high profile public venue, but, if any, were the consequences of this public disputation? This lecture will discuss the religious, political, and social context in which the Barcelona Disputation took place and modern interpretations of it.  

Nina Caputo is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at​the University of Florida. She is author of Nahmanides in Medieval Catalonia: History, Community, Messianism (2007) and Debating Truth: The Barcelona Disputation of 1263, A Graphic History (Oxford 2017), illustrated by Liz Clarke. She has also co-edited Faithful Narratives: Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity (Cornell, 2014) and On the Word of a Jew. Religion, Reliability, and the Dynamics of Trust (Indiana, 2019). She is currently working on a book on the figure of the Jewish convert to Christianity in the middle ages.

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Sat, February 4 2023 13 Shevat 5783