In earlier weeks, we saw examples of Christian criticism of the Jews or of Jewish traditions. These included the conflicts between Jesus’ earliest followers and Jewish groups who did not accept Jesus, the debates over the validity of Jewish law for Jesus’ gentile followers, and the bitter attacks in the sermon of John Chrysostom. We also saw how Jewish rabbis constructed a “counter-narrative” of Jesus’ life that specifically rebutted key claims in the Gospels. In the Toledoth Yeshu, we saw a stinging parody of Jesus’ life that circulated among Jews through the Middle Ages.
How and why are the Christian attacks on Islam which Tolan describes similar to or different from these other examples of religious polemics? Be sure to refer to specific material in Tolan’s Saracens and make a specific comparison with at least one of the earlier examples of religious polemics (Christian or Jewish) that we have read.
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