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Le massacre des Innocents : constructions théologiques et usages polémiques (v. 800 - v.1300)

Abstract : « Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men » (Matthew 2, 16). This Gospel verse is the one and only Scriptural basis for what the Christian tradition has called the « Slaughter of the Holy Innocents ». This dissertation aims at understanding how a single biblical verse became an episode of the Incarnation narrative, then the object of devotions, and eventually a rhetorical element used in polemical contexts. Based on hagiographical sources, the identity of the Holy Innocents can not be fully understood (Part I). Therefore we propose to use the exegetical and liturgical sources to understand how the Massacre of the Innocents, a slaughter of Jewish children, was captured by Christianity thanks to a typological interpretation, and then built as an episode prefiguring all persecutions, real or assumed, that the Church would have to face (Part II). The staging and performance of this discourse produced by theologians fall under polemical and political uses (Part III) : The Massacre of the Innocents, built in the exegesis out of the « Christianization » of the Innocents and of the figure of Rachel associated with them, becomes part of the derogatory discourse against Jews from the twelfth century on.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 10:30:23 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03199620, version 1


Axelle Neyrinck. Le massacre des Innocents : constructions théologiques et usages polémiques (v. 800 - v.1300). Histoire. École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), 2016. Français. ⟨tel-03199620⟩



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