Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Anti-Semitism

  • Daniel Burston
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_802

Christian and Nazi Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism (or, as some say, Judophobia) is an amorphous but remarkably persistent form of religious and racial prejudice. While some scholars trace it to pagan sources (Manetho, Tacitus, Ovid, etc.), most stress its Christian origins. Generally speaking, Christian anti-Semites believe that Jews, unlike Christians, are a distinct “race,” with specific “racial characteristics,” such as darker skin and hair; a large, hooked nose; and a grasping, materialistic, and decidedly tribal outlook on life that is the opposite of the noble Christian ideal, which aspires to spiritual universality. It is because Jews allegedly possess these odious (physical and spiritual) characteristics that they reject Jesus as the Messiah and are responsible for his Crucifixion. Nevertheless, some anti-Semites say Jews can redeem themselves and overcome their hereditary guilt by renouncing their ancestral faith and embracing Jesus as their savior. If they do, they are saved and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Burston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDuquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA