York 1190: Jews and Others in the Wake of Massacre was organised by Sarah Rees Jones and Sethina Watson of the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of History.

The conference was supported by the British Academy, the Jewish Historical Society of England and the Royal Historical Society. The Borthwick Institute republished the essays of Barrie Dobson on anglo-jewish history for the occasion: The Jewish Communities of Medieval England . We are publishing a collection of essays relating to the theme of the conference and developing further related research projects.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Congratulations Anthony!

Feeling Persecuted : Christians, Jews and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages

One of the most fascinating aspects of medieval culture was the imaginary violence Christians believed that Jews carried out, and the subsequent violence Christians committed against Jews. Many Christians believed that Jews committed crimes against Christian children, Christ's body, and the Eucharist, leading them to conclude that Jews were out to destroy their religion and way of life. They retaliated with expulsions, riots and murders that systematically denied Jews the right to religious freedom and peace. In Feeling Persecuted: Christians, Jews, and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages, Anthony Bale explores the Christian pain and fear so often blamed on Jews, and how the imagined violence caused Christians to retaliate with crushing violence of their own. Through close reading of a wide range of European sources, Bale exposes the spiritual and intellectual benefits of imagined Jewish violence, and how the images of Christian suffering and persecution were central to medieval ideas of love, belonging and home life. These images and texts even expose a surprising practice of recreational persecution, and show that the violence perpetrated against medieval Jews was far from simple anti-Semitism and was in fact a complex part of medieval life and culture. Feeling Persecuted reveals the culture of imagined violence and tracks its far-reaching consequences into modern Jewish-Christian relations. Anthony Bale's comprehensive look at poetry, drama, visual culture, theology and philosophy make Feeling Persecuted an important resource for anyone interested in the history of Christian-Jewish relations, and the impact of past events on modern culture.

About the Author

Anthony Bale is Professor of English and Medieval Cultures at Birbeck College, University of London. He is the author of The Jew in the Medieval Book: English Antisemitisms 1350-1500 (2006).

No comments:

Post a Comment