By Sara Lipton
In Dark Mirror, Sara Lipton deals a desirable exam of the emergence of anti-Semitic iconography within the center Ages
The straggly beard, the hooked nostril, the bag of cash, and gaudy apparel—the non secular artists of medieval Christendom had no scarcity of virulent symbols for settling on Jews. but, hateful as those depictions have been, the tale they inform isn't really so simple as it first appears.
Drawing on a variety of fundamental resources, Lipton argues that those visible stereotypes have been neither an inevitable outgrowth of Christian theology nor an easy mirrored image of medieval prejudices. in its place, she maps out the advanced courting among medieval Christians' non secular rules, social adventure, and constructing inventive practices that drove their depiction of Jews from benign, if exoticized, figures connoting historic knowledge to more and more vicious portrayals encouraged via (and designed to impress) worry and hostility.
At the center of this lushly illustrated and meticulously researched paintings are questions that experience occupied students for ages—why did Jews turns into such robust and toxic symbols in medieval paintings? Why have been Jews linked to yes gadgets, symbols, activities, and deficiencies? And what have been the consequences of such portrayals—not merely in medieval society, yet all through Western historical past? What we discover is that a twin of the Jew in medieval paintings was once no longer a portrait of tangible friends or perhaps imagined others, yet a cloudy glass into which Christendom gazed to discover a distorted, phantasmagoric rendering of itself.
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Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography by Sara Lipton