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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 127: A Matter of Life and Death: Medieval Jewish Material Culture and Drawing the Borderline

Monday 6 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Zvi Orgad, Department of Jewish Art, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Moderator/Chair:Birgit Wiedl, Institut für jüdische Geschichte Österreichs, St. Pölten
Paper 127-aThe Borderline between Life and Death: The Deathbed and the Burial Place in Medieval Jewish Culture
(Language: English)
Avriel Bar-Levav, Department of History Philosophy & Judaic Studies Open University of Israel Raanana
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Paper 127-bLight in Jewish Remembrance of the Dead
(Language: English)
Vera Henkelmann, Independent Scholar, Eschweiler
Index terms: Art History - General, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Religious Life
Paper 127-cDon't Mind the Gap: Text, Art, and Borders in Funeral Jewish Art
(Language: English)
Zvi Orgad, Department of Jewish Art, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Art History - Painting, Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Death is a universally prominent part of life. However, recent studies show that, in contrast to medieval Christian material culture where borders between life and death were generally blurred, Jews used material culture to draw more distinct boundaries. Jewish attitudes towards these borders were manifested in material culture. This session will focus on material evidence from medieval Jewish societies which illuminates aspects of their approaches towards the borderline: deathbed and burial customs, tombstone inscription formulation and design, and allegorical motifs in Jewish art.