IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 824: Jews and Moors as the Religious 'Other' in the Middle Ages

Tuesday 13 July 2004, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Eva Frojmovic, Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 824-a'Frater Fui Draconum': Biblical Beasts in Medieval Anti-Jewish Polemics
(Language: English)
Joseph H. Pearson, Department of Theology, Fordham University
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Ecclesiastical History, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Theology
Paper 824-bThe Bath of Nebuchadnezzar: Motifs from the Book of Daniel in Illuminated Manuscripts of the World Chronicle by Jans Enikel and the German Historienbibel, Type I
(Language: English)
Berthold Kress, Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Biblical Studies, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 824-cAliens in Our World: English Romance Strategies for Claiming the Holy Land
(Language: English)
Jennifer E. Floyd, Stanford University

session grouped by Sieglinde Hartmann (25/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
Throughout Medieval History, one fundamental ‘clash of cultures’ persisted: the tragedy of Jewish-Christian relations. In this paper, I explore the allegorization of seven biblical beasts (the unicorn, viper, dragon, ass, ox, ostrich and lion) as an occasion for Christian polemic against Jews. Especially from the ‘re-discovery of Nature’ in the 12th century onward, Christians used the bestiary as an instrument for Jewish de-humanization. The biblical text was seen to mirror the Book of Nature and so it reflected God’s moral evaluation of all creatures. By linking the Jew with the biblical beast, a negative identity was thus constructed for him as the religious ‘other’, an indeation which marginalized Jews and sanctioned their opression.
Abstract paper -b:
The late 13th-century German world chronicle by Jans Enikel contains a lenghty passage on the prophet Daniel, which is not – as Comestor and several of his vernacular adaptations – a paraphrase of the biblical text with historical comments but rather a bizarre mixture of biblical and fairy-tale like motifs some of them also appearing in contemporary epics. My paper will present this text and its illustrations in several manuscripts, chiefly written before 1400 in South-East Germany. Also the respective parts of the so-called German Historienbibel, type I, which tries to reconcile this narrative with the original biblical text, shall be discussed.