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date: 19 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines how Western theologians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries perceived Jews and Judaism compared to their predecessors. It considers how Judaism was portrayed by Christian Hebraism during the period, before discussing Western theological references to Jews under the doctrine of scripture, controversial theology (including theological books written for missionary outreach to Jews), and eschatology. It also explores the challenges faced by theologians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with respect to writing anti-Jewish polemics, with particular emphasis on how their works were influenced by the need to establish clear theological boundaries between themselves and Judaism, as well as other confessional churches, schismatics, anti-Trinitarians, and atheists. It comments on the thinking by most confessional theologians that a mass conversion of the Jews in the future would be one of the signs of the impending Last Judgment.

Keywords: Western theologians, Jews, Judaism, Christian Hebraism, doctrine of scripture, controversial theology, eschatology, confessional churches, conversion, Last Judgment

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