chapter  2
Preaching and Jews in Late Antique and Visigothic Iberia
ByRaúl González Salinero
Pages 36

Anti-Jewish polemics have accompanied Christian preaching from its very origins. The preaching carried out by the Church hierarchy had a fundamentally didactic purpose. As in other regions of the Roman Empire, the Church hierarchy in Hispania was opposed to contact between Christians and Jews due to the latent danger of Jewish contamination to which Christian communities were believed to be exposed. As it was almost impossible to convert Jews to the Catholic faith, Spanish bishops tried to establish clear boundaries between both communities through measures approved in local councils, such as the Council of Elvira, and, especially, through anti-Jewish preaching. In spite of evidence that there was a delusional belief in Late Ancient and Visigothic Iberia in the alleged seductive power of preaching as an effective and immediate means of converting Jews, there is nothing that leads us to think that there were any Christian sermons meant for converting Jews.