One of the tumblrs I read, The Arcane Theory, has been having a brief exchange with an anon about "anti-Judaism" vs. "antisemitism." I was a little taken aback about where the discussion was going, because "Anti-Judaism is a term you just made up" is simply not the case, unless I'm hallucinating the copy of David Nirenberg's Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition that's sitting on my desk. Nirenberg's choice of "anti-Judaism," not "antisemitism," is deliberate: "'Judaism' [...] is not only the religion of specific people with specific beliefs, but also a category, a set of ideas and attributes with which non-Jews can make sense of and criticize their world. Nor is 'anti-Judaism' simply an attitude toward Jews and their religion, but a way of critically engaging the world" (3). For Nirenberg, antisemitism--antagonism to Jews based on purportedly scientific, race-based principles, developed as an explicit project in the later nineteenth century--is one manifestation of anti-Judaism (3), but does not supersede it as such. However, "anti-Judaism" may also be used more narrowly, as Gavin Langmuir does in Toward a Definition of Antisemitism, to distinguish between explicitly religious objections to Judaism (which do not, that is, link Judaism and biology) and the modern racist variety (57). And, of course, some scholars use the terms interchangeably. The anti-Judaism/antisemitism distinction acquires a different urgency (and awkwardness) in some branches of Christian theology, as this example from the Dictionary of Theological Interpretation, published by the evangelical Baker Book House, nicely demonstrates.
The anti-Judaism/antisemitism question comes to the fore when dealing with the kind of texts I read--and not just in the work of Christian authors. Grace Aguilar's and Charlotte Montefiore's critiques of Jewish conversions to Christianity, for example, respond to evangelical texts that do not emphasize the immutability of Jewish racial otherness; by contrast, Benjamin Farjeon's theory that Jews are biologically incapable of converting to Christianity (and yes, I say "huh? what?" every time I think about it) reacts to explicitly racist accounts of Jewish identity. An evangelical novelist like Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna would have been simply baffled by Wilhelm Marr, I suspect.