By Eliane Glaser (auth.)
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Extra info for Judaism without Jews: Philosemitism and Christian Polemic in Early Modern England
Within these three camps there were smaller factions and denominations, and over time, religious allegiances shifted, resulting in a highly differentiated and oppositional religious scene. The polemical texts of the period also contained deep 32 Judaism without Jews political divisions, and arguments about monarchy, parliament and law were commonplace; the Civil War and the Interregnum brought these into sharp focus. In an age when no clear distinction between religion and politics was yet in place, controversies about the relationship between church and state were abundant and complex.
Puritans including Hugh Broughton and William Fulke, on the other hand, argued that he descended only to the grave, and that his sufferings were not the physical experience of Hellfire but the metaphorical sufferings of his soul, for the sins of mankind/ 6 Debates which contested the meaning of the episode involved frequent recourse to the Hebrew language, because it was believed that resolution could be achieved by determining the etymology of certain key words. Broughton and Fulke appealed to the Hebrew word sheaf, cited in rabbinic commentaries, which they took to mean 'grave'.
14 Nevertheless, these writers were unwittingly committed to a counterproductive strategy of dogmatic refutation, since to arrive at a consensus would be to dilute the correct interpretation of God's Word, and to open up the possibility of political confusion. Within this Christian culture of debate, as Rogers's words illustrate, Judaism provided a rich and versatile tool with which commentators could attack their opponent; and a variety of Christian factions formed triangular structures of argument between themselves, the opposing faction and Jews.