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They Did What? Christian iconography in Jewish medieval texts

Hosted By: London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS)

Imagine this: you are a young impressionable Jewish kid in a museum, seemingly endless rooms filled with sad mums and pudgy babies. And worst of all, you find yourself staring at a large painting of a distinctly Christian subject – a Crucifixion. The painting is a swirl of activity – and at the centre, the tortured body of Jesus suspended upon the cross. What are you to make of this dreadful and compelling figure that is clearly the focus of attention?

The questions are simultaneously attractive and repulsive. What’s a Jew to make of it all? Join Professor Marc Michael Epstein, Orthodox Jew, lover and appreciator of Christian art in a whirlwind tour of the Jewish values inherent in the most Christian of art. What we find will be surprising, enlightening and transformative.

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Marc Michael Epstein

Marc Michael Epstein is the product of a mixed marriage between the scions of Slonimer and Lubavitcher Hassidim and Romanian socialists, and grew up, rather confused, but happy, in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently Professor of Religion at Vassar College, where he has been teaching since 1992, and was the first Director of Jewish Studies. At Vassar, he teaches courses on medieval Christianity, religion, arts and politics, and Jewish texts and sources. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, received the PhD at Yale University, and did much of his graduate research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has written numerous articles and three books on various topics in visual and material culture produced by, for, and about Jews.
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London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS)

LSJS delivers inspiring education programs which transmit a love of learning and achieve excellence in teaching to transform the Jewish community. Our teacher training, degree courses and adult education programs are delivered in person and online. You can explore all of our courses and events here.  
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