Monday, February 25, 2008

Reminder: Sara Lipton talk this Friday

The University of Pittsburgh Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program

Department of History
SUNY Stony Brook

"Jewish Eyes,
1140 - 1180"

Friday, February 29th
4:00 p.m.
Cathedral of Learning
Room 501

This paper examines a range of sources dating to ca. 1140 - 80
(hagiographical and devotional texts, liturgical objects and images, and
their accompanying inscriptions) to examine distinct changes in the
representation of Jews in Christian art and thought. It argues that images
often read as reflecting a heightened and increasingly "racialized"
anti-Judaism are, in the first instance, a by-product of how Christians
desired, feared, and used representations of God. Art and society are never
discrete, however, and images created to serve internal Christian purposes
eventually affected Christian perceptions of actual Jews, and influenced
Christian-Jewish social and legal relations.

Sara Lipton's work focuses on religious identity and experience,
Jewish-Christian relations, and art and culture in the high Middle Ages
(11th - 14th centuries). She is currently working on two projects. The
first, to be published by Metropolitan Books in 2009, examines how changing
concepts of vision and witness in medieval Christian society intersected
with the visual representation of the Jew. The second, entitled Art,
Preaching, and Piety in the High Middle Ages (1150 - 1300), seeks to
understand why and to what effect Christendom invested so much in worshiping
the ineffable Word through the material thing. Her publications include "The
Sweet Lean of His Head: Writing about Looking at the Crucifix in the High
Middle Ages," in the journal Speculum (2005), and Images of Intolerance: The
Representation of Jews and Judaism in the Bible Moralisée (Berkeley, 1999),
which won the John Nicholas Brown Prize for Best First Book.

An open reception will follow the talk.

This talk is generously co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies
and the Department of History

Questions? Please contact MRST Director Jennifer Waldron (

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