By John Y.B. Hood
Hood's research contends that Aquinas's writings stay proof against or skeptical of anti-Jewish traits in thirteenth-century theology. Aquinas units out just to make clear and systematize acquired theological and canonistic teachings at the Jews.
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Extra resources for Aquinas and the Jews
4 More generally, it was assumed that Jews, because they were infidels themselves, had a natural sympathy for the heterodox. Inquisitors often accused Jews of giving succor to heretical Christians as well as encouraging converts to abandon their new faith and revert to Judaism. Economic changes exacerbated the pressures on the Jews. Paradoxically, the expansion of the European economy after noo actually diminished the economic opportunities of Jews, at least in the long run. As trade between Europe and the Byzantine empire expanded, Christian merchants in Italian cities such as Genoa and Venice gradually established commercial dominance.
Not only were other ways of earning profits being closed to them, but in the expanding European economy there was an insatiable demand for venture capital and consumer credit. Kings required cash to pay their soldiers and bureaucrats; merchants sought financing for trading voyages; farmers and burgurs, pressed by inflation and enticed by consumer goods, needed money to pay their bills and buy the things they wanted. Jews with capital were uniquely able to provide for these needs. " Of course, many Christians violated this prohibition; merchants found ingenious ways of hiding interest in artificially inflated prices, and entire cities, such as Cahors, were notorious centers of usury.
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. The "papal monarchy" that developed in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century was largely judicial in its structure and powers, and its efforts to shape Europe into a unified Christian society generally took the form of promulgating laws and intervening in disputes.
Aquinas and the Jews by John Y.B. Hood