By John Y.B. Hood
Hood's research contends that Aquinas's writings stay proof against or skeptical of anti-Jewish tendencies in thirteenth-century theology. Aquinas units out just to make clear and systematize obtained theological and canonistic teachings at the Jews.
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Extra info for Aquinas and the Jews
The popes did not always get their way, but again what is most surprising is the extent to which canon law shaped the treatment of the Jews in Christian Europe. 10 After the conversion of Constantine to Christianity in 313, and the gradual christianization of the empire in the course of the fourth cen- The Thirteenth-Century Context 27 tury, Roman Law—codified in the Theodosian Code of 439 and Justinian's Code of 534—began to deal with questions presented by the presence of the Jews from a specifically Christian perspective.
Unlike Augustine (though like Jerome) Chrysostom saw no positive role for Jews in the Christian dispensation beyond the fact that their degradation proved that God had taken to himself a new people. Otherwise his substantive position was similar to Augustine's; he too believed the Church was the verus Israel, that the Law was primarily prefigurative, that Old Testament Jews were immoral and unfaithful but nevertheless superior to the pagans, and that the Jews were being punished specifically for killing Christ.
In the rapidly changing social and economic climate of medieval Europe, however, justice was in high demand. As men competed for control of valuable lands and lucrative secular and ecclesiastical offices, a litigious society was born. Much of this legal business was handled by local secular and ecclesiastical courts, and in fact such institutions also experienced explosive growth in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. But as an international institution with high moral prestige, the papacy was in a uniquely strategic position to serve as an appellate court for dissatisfied litigants.
Aquinas and the Jews by John Y.B. Hood