Judaism and the Early Christian Mind
Unlike most studies of the thought of the early Church, which have concentrated on the Christian encounter with Hellenism, this investigation of the writings of Cyril of Alexandria reveals the crucial influence of the polemical conflicts with Judaism voiced by the early fathers. After tracing the relationships between Christians and Jews during the first four centuries A.D., Mr. Wilken demonstrates how Cyril's exegetical writings - two-thirds of the extant corpus - grew directly out of his polemical positions. He then discusses the influence of such thinking on Cyril's christology and on his controversy with Nestorius, the bishop of Constantinople during the early fifth century. His concluding analysis of the larger problem of Christian attitudes toward the Jews concentrates on the difficulties raised by the Christians' inability to understand Judaism as anything other than an inferior foreshadowing of Christianity.
Robert L. Wilken