New PDF release: Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies: Judaism in Christian

By David Nirenberg

ISBN-10: 1611687772

ISBN-13: 9781611687774

Via so much of Western ecu historical past, Jews were a numerically tiny or completely absent minority, yet throughout that background Europeans have still nervous greatly approximately Judaism. Why should still that be so? This brief yet powerfully argued ebook means that Christian anxieties approximately their very own transcendent beliefs made Judaism a major instrument for Christianity, as an apocalyptic religion—characterized by way of prizing soul over flesh, the religious over the literal, the heavenly over the actual world—came to phrases with the inescapable value of physique, language, and fabric issues during this global.

Nirenberg indicates how turning the Jew right into a personification of worldly over non secular issues, floor over internal that means, allowed cultures vulnerable towards transcendence to appreciate even their such a lot materialistic practices as non secular. targeting artwork, poetry, and politics—three actions in particular condemned as worldly in early Christian culture—he unearths how, during the last thousand years, those actions however multiplied the potential of their very own lifestyles inside Christian tradition simply because they have been used to symbolize Judaism. Nirenberg attracts on an astonishingly diversified number of poets, painters, preachers, philosophers, and politicians to reconstruct the jobs performed by way of representations of Jewish “enemies” within the production of Western paintings, tradition, and politics, from the traditional global to the current day.

This erudite and tightly argued survey of the ways that Christian cultures have created themselves by way of wondering Judaism will entice the broadest diversity of students of faith, paintings, literature, political idea, media thought, and the background of Western civilization extra generally.

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Extra resources for Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies: Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry, and Politics

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According to them, iconoclasm was itself the invention of “a leader of the lawless Jews, a sorcerer and the agent of demonic soul destroyers called Tessarakontapēchys” (the name means “forty cubits tall”) Painting between Christianity and Judaism 27 who convinced the Muslim caliph Yazid II to order all Christian images in his land destroyed. ” This “tall tale” is not idiosyncratic. Numerous Greek iconophile sources attribute the origins of iconoclasm to a Jewish magician who falsely advises the Muslim caliph to ban images from Christian churches in his domains.

Should we understand The Fountain of Grace as a response to these anxieties? Beginning with a series of massacres in 1391 and continuing through the early fifteenth-century forced preaching campaigns of Saint Vincent Ferrer, tens of thousands of Jews living in the Iberian kingdoms had been converted to Christianity. By the time of van Eyck’s visit to the peninsula, a generation more or less after these mass conversions, tensions between “Old” and “New” Christians (as they began to be called) were emerging violently in the form of riots, discriminatory legislation, and other exclusionary practices aimed at the converts and their descendants.

You pluck them out continually, for they are easily ensnared. 34).  . with the inclination of my mind.  . 35). 24 Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies Augustine knows that the temptation of the world’s corporeal light is constant. Almost as constant is the potential to imagine that temptation in terms of Judaism or Judaizing. When I say this potential is constant within Christian cultural critique, I do not mean to imply that its power is always the same, or that the ways in which the danger is imagined or put to work are unchanging.

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Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies: Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry, and Politics by David Nirenberg

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