In Europe, especially Germany there was a certain separateness of language and culture between Christian Europeans and the Jews. Though, this was noticed during the time of emerging heresy (new faith) in Europe.
Consequently, Christianity was declared the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, but surprisingly Judaism was singled out as one of the rival religions to be protected by the church when the Roman Empire crumbled in the then Western Europe. Accordingly well-organized governance and order also crumbled with it, which brought about the medieval ages (Dark ages). However, St. Paul’s doctrine remained and was basically an admonishment of some of the mosaic laws. In line with this, it made the Jews view Christianity as blasphemy against God and their faith (Birnbaum 107).
Additionally, the papal institutions that came into being after the fall of the Roman Empire led to the accusations of Jewry blasphemy against the church (Christian faith) on the basis that the Jews had inflicted torture and murdered the Messiah under the sign of the cross.
Furthermore, the papal church began an inquisition and direct punishment of heresy in the Kingdom of France under the director of the cathedral school in Mainz Conrad of Marburg. The papal church considered the interethnic coexistence between the Jews and Arabs with hostilities. However, the Christians in northern Europe were still divided and did not accept Jewry in their social order as did the Arab society.
Generally the view of Christians towards Jews has been their interpretation about the role of the Jews in the life and death of Jesus Christ and their accusation of the Jews as the murderers of Christ.
In modern times very few people in Europe still hold these convictions. Nevertheless, modern study and psychology has brought about the feeling that, though the ancients Jews were guilty of Christ’s death. The Jews still had very close ties which united them with Christ, since they the Jews were of the same race with Christ, and witnessed of his death and resurrection.
The modern Christians in Europe and elsewhere has since come to realise that, “Christ became the redeemer only because he was crucified” thus, holding the Jews responsible for the crime from which the Christians reap moral and psychological belief.
A common view that led to the persecution of the Jews in the High middle ages is because of the ecclesiastical pressure to Christendom of Jews, and rulers eventually bowed to ecclesiastical demands.
In England, the King alone profited, the nobility believed that Jews posed a constant threat, hence, the nobility pressed for expulsion, just as it sought to destroy the Jews of York in 1191, Seeing in the Jews the King’s hated financial agents (Levy 21).
In the modern era the holy book (Bible) has become something that both unites and separates Jews and Christians. Additionally, in the 19th century a body of Jewish Christians was formed in England by Rabinowitz. Though, it caused great controversy, but it was still supported by some Jewish Christian leaders. However it grew significantly into the twentieth century and spread to other parts of the world.
To understand the relationship between the Christians and Jews, there must be an appreciation of both of them, in that, without the Jews Christianity would not have existed. (Frojmovic 34).
There must be dissemination of knowledge on the issue of Judaism not being evil or linked with the death of Christ. Though, modern theology and doctrine has striven to tackle the problem and thus building of the relationship between the Jews and Christians which necessitated the calmness and peace they both share. Moreover, there is impressive unification between the Christians and Jewish.
Additionally, the Jews in Europe are now accepted and recognised since the creation of Israel. Though many migrated to the newly founded country, while many opted to remain in Europe and keep their citizenships.
With these remarkable events it would be quite difficult for anti-Semitism to show its ugly face in Europe due to the modern political and socio-economic order which have been put in place.
Birnbaum, Salomo A. Yiddish: a survey and a grammar. Manchester: Manchester University Press ND, 1979.
Frojmovic, Eva. Imagining the self, imagining the other: visual representation and Jewish-Christian dynamics in the Middle Ages and early modern period. Laiden, The Netherland: BRILL, 2002.
Levy, Richard S. Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution, Volume 2. Santa Barbra, California: ABC-CLIO, 2005.