Judaism and Christian Art: Aesthetic Anxieties from the Catacombs to Colonialism
Christian cultures across the centuries have invoked Judaism in order to debate, represent, and contain the dangers presented by the sensual nature of art. By engaging Judaism, both real and imagined, they explored and expanded the perils and possibilities for Christian representation of the material world.
The thirteen essays in Judaism and Christian Art reveal that Christian art has always defined itself through the figures of Judaism that it produces. From its beginnings, Christianity confronted a host of questions about visual representation. Should Christians make art, or does attention to the beautiful works of human hands constitute a misplaced emphasis on the things of this world or, worse, a form of idolatry ("Thou shalt make no graven image")? And if art is allowed, upon what styles, motifs, and symbols should it draw? Christian artists, theologians, and philosophers answered these questions and many others by thinking about and representing the relationship of Christianity to Judaism. This volume is the first dedicated to the long history, from the catacombs to colonialism but with special emphasis on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, of the ways in which Christian art deployed cohorts of "Jews"—more figurative than real—in order to conquer, defend, and explore its own territory.
Establishment) whose every reflex Christianity borrowed and transformed. The clash of paternities, in the case of these sarcophagi, takes a very interesting bifurcation into idealization (of the Israelites) and denigration (of Roman models). These are hardly separable forms of anxiety about genealogical origins.84 It is of no surprise that the later development of the assimilation of these themes in Christian culture moved from a positive identification with the Jews as an ideal model to a.
Contemporary biblical scholarship. The first half of the twelfth century was a time of intense activity in the area of exegesis: typological interpretation (which read the Old Testament as foreshadowing Christian history) was elaborated, new layers of signification were articulated, and new approaches to the ‘‘letter’’ were developed.9 Major works of biblical commentary, in particular the heavily typological Glossa ordinaria (created at Laon c. 1100–1140), the even more typological and wildly.
(Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1951), 17–36. 25. For this text, which is absent from the English translation of the Siete Partidas cited above, see Las Siete Partidas del Rey Don Alfonso el Sabio (Madrid, 1807), 1:66. I am grateful to Rocı´o Sa´nchez Ameijeiras for calling my attention to this passage. For the iconography and promotion of baptism in thirteenth-century Gothic monumental portals, see R. Sa´nchez Ameijeiras, ‘‘The Faces of the Voice: Aesthetic Notions and.
Old Augustinian order coincided with a cultural undertaking that heralded and legitimated it.9 At the very outset, the highest-ranking Christian patrons compelled Jews either to finance (in France) or actually produce (in Spain) sumptuously illustrated, vernacular bibles. By recruiting Hebrew Scripture and, with it, rabbinic patrimony to trumpet affirmation of Christian truth, rulers sought not merely to enhance their stature but also vindicate their reliance on and protection of Jews. The French.
Histoire, 327, under fig. 205. 63. For an overview of this topic, with bibliography, see Shaye J. D. Cohen, Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised? Gender and Covenant in Judaism (Berkeley, 2005), 68–108. 64. David Biale, Blood and Belief: The Circulation of a Symbol between Jews and Christians (Berkeley, 2007), 7, 44–122. On ways in which medieval Jewish images of circumcision (Isaac’s, and Eliezer’s by Zipporah) emphasized its sacrificial and salvific dimensions, see Frojmovic, ‘‘Reframing Gender.