Home / Luther Encyclopaedia / Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is a concept from the 19th century. It is controversial if anti-Semitism also can be applied to all forms of Jews enmity. It is clear that there is some continuity in the anti-Semitism from ancient times till now. From a sociological perspective anti-Semitism is an attitude with the aim to dissociate from Jews and to drive them off or to destroy them. Luther would be placed under this definition. From the psychoanalytical standpoint, Jews are often appointed as scape-goat. And there can be seen a connection with the anti-Semitism of the European culture and the Christianity. Luther’s Jews enmity can also be placed under this definition.

The influential role the Christianity has had for Jews-hostile institutions is clear. Anti-Jewish clich├ęs can already be found in the New Testament. Especially in the reception history and the working history of the New Testament, in the formation of the Christian identity, a specific Christian anti-Judaism is evolved. So some enemy images arose, which were also used by Luther. Especially in the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the modern time, there were many local Jew pogroms by Christians. There can hardly be found any Christian-ecclesiastical self criticism about the Holycaust. However, this increases gradually.