William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History, Harvard University; Resident Faculty & Seminar Chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
February 11, 2022
12:30pm - 1:30pm
2017 in Charlottesville, VA white supremacists chanted antisemitic and racist slogans.
While modern antisemitism and modern racism are the outgrowth of processes
associated with modernity, the ideology espoused by white supremacists in the
United States and in Europe is rooted in Christian ideas of social and religious
hierarchy, which developed gradually. They first sprung up in the Mediterranean and in Europe in
antiquity and the Middle Ages with respect to Jews. They later emerged with respect to people
of color in European colonies and in the U.S.
In this talk, Magda Teter will discuss the interplay between law, theology, and culture, arguing
that the modern rejection of equality of both Jews and Black people in the West
is the legacy of Christian supersessionism – a theological concept developed in
antiquity and implemented in law and policy when Christianity became a political
power, whose fruit was Christianity’s claim to superiority and dominance.