Skip to main content

IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 319: Jewish / Non-Jewish Entanglements and Networks, III: Social Aspects

Monday 3 July 2023, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Institut für jüdische Geschichte Österreichs, St Pölten
Organiser:Birgit Wiedl, Institut für jüdische Geschichte Österreichs, St. Pölten
Moderator/Chair:Hannah Schachter, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg
Paper 319-aBetween Gossip and Lawsuit: The Multitude of Jewish-Christian Entanglements in the Urban Settings of Medieval Ashkenaz
(Language: English)
Birgit Wiedl, Institut für jüdische Geschichte Österreichs, St. Pölten
Index terms: Daily Life, Economics - Urban, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Social History
Paper 319-bJewish-Christian Interfaith Oaths in Medieval Europe
(Language: English)
Andreas Lehnertz, Arye Maimon-Institut für Geschichte der Juden, Universität Trier
Index terms: Daily Life, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 319-cJewish Wet Nurses, Conversas, and Christian Infants: Racialised Objections From the Later Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Irven Resnick, Department of Philosophy & Religion, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Index terms: Canon Law, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Religious Life, Social History

Social interactions between Jews and Christians were manifold. The crowded living situation of medieval European cities made daily encounters inevitable. Many networks existed due to professions (e.g., Jewish and Christian businesspeople) or affiliations (e.g., guilds and religious communities) to a specific social stratum. In this session, we aim to showcase the wide variety of these social entanglements by focusing on three types of interaction: the closeness of Jewish and Christian living quarters resulted in many neighborly contacts that span from friendly, even intimate, to conflicts and hatred. The first paper will analyze the types of connections that stem from the various kinds of interaction. The second paper will focus on the legal practice of oath-taking, which both Jews and Christians employed. The so-called Jewry oath is testimony to their cultural distinctiveness, following Jewish legal and ritual tradition. Yet, in its acceptance by the Christian authorities and counterparties, it also serves as a bridge between them. Close contact was, however, also frowned upon, mainly by the religious authorities. The third paper will examine a particular concern of the church, the employment of Jewish women as wet nurses in Christian households. It will analyze the various misgivings for their social, theological, and racial content.