St. Thomas More Society of Orange County:
Edmund J. Mazza
It has become commonplace in Medieval Studies to speak of the “formation of a persecuting society” in Catholic Europe of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The efforts of St. Raymond of Peñafort and the Order of Preachers to convert Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christians is a conspicuous example.
Edmund J. Mazza’s The Scholastics and the Jews, however, marks a major historiographical revision. While in no way diminishing the reality of Jewish suffering across the centuries, Mazza identifies the origins of missionary overtures to non-believers not so much with the drive for homogeneity as for holiness.
Through an examination of the works of St. Raymond, St. Anselm of
Canterbury, Peter Abelard, Alan of Lille, St. Thomas Aquinas, Blessed
Ramon Llull and others, The Scholastics and the Jews uncovers the unsung
role that reason and rational argument, as well as confession and
conscience played in the creation of preaching programs and pastoral
care aimed first at lay faithful and heretics—but ultimately at