chapter  7
The Effects of Bernardino da Feltre’s Preaching on the Jews
ByMaria Giuseppina Muzzarelli
Pages 25

This chapter explores what the practical consequences of the sermons by Bernardino da Feltre, noteworthy and effective preacher of the late fifteenth century, were for the Jewish community. Attention paid to those consequences noted by Guslino, starting from the most dramatic and best-known case connected with his preaching-namely, on the topic of Simon of Trent. The case of Simon of Trent is the first reference to Jews in Bernardino's biography. Bernardino preaching opened one door and closed others. He favoured the use of Christian methods to tackle some of the problems posed by credit, but impeded collaboration in different fields. Preaching against Jews was a way to support a compactly Christian society by feeding fear and prejudices. Against this severe and dramatic panorama the Monte di Pietà stands out as a decidedly positive fruit of his labour, one that could have been reaped, perhaps, without standing in the way of Jewish-Christian relations.