Did medieval Christians really believe the Jews were agents of the Devil? 

During the Middle Ages it was commonly believed that Jews were minions of the Devil. Medieval Christian thinkers began asking themselves what kind of rational creature would deliberately reject the truth of Christian revelation and kill God. They concluded that only someone who was an irrational and inhuman agent of Satan could act that way.

Gabriel Wilensky

How Jews went from defenseless victims to be considered powerful agents of the Devil

It becomes easier to understand how the masses as well as their intellectual and spiritual mentors could believe the vilest charges against Jews and rise repeatedly and violently against them when one realizes how often and insistently the charge of satanic nature and allegiance was ascribed to the Jews.

“Many varied and unreasonable accusations made sense to a medieval mind who understood and accepted as self evident that the nature of the Jews was evil and depraved since they were agents of Satan.”

Jews were believed to be as likely to desecrate a church’s sacred images in front of a large and hostile audience, to refuse the veracity of Christian miracles, or to publicly express contempt for Christian beliefs, as to despoil the host, murder Christian boys to use their blood in their rituals, spread poison with the wind, and practice depraved sexual acts. These, and many other varied and unreasonable accusations made sense to a medieval mind who understood and accepted as self evident that the nature of the Jews was evil and depraved since they were agents of Satan.

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Six Million Crucifixions

Traces the history of antisemitism in Christianity and the role that played in making possible the Holocaust.

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