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Cultural Exchange: Jews, Christians, and Art in the Medieval Marketplace

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Overview

Demonstrating that similarities between Jewish and Christian art in the Middle Ages were more than coincidental, Cultural Exchange meticulously combines a wide range of sources to show how Jews and Christians exchanged artistic and material culture. Joseph Shatzmiller focuses on communities in northern Europe, Iberia, and other Mediterranean societies where Jews and Christians coexisted for centuries, and he synthesizes the most current research to describe the daily encounters that enabled both societies to appreciate common artistic values.

Detailing the transmission of cultural sensibilities in the medieval money market and the world of Jewish money lenders, this book examines objects pawned by peasants and humble citizens, sacred relics exchanged by the clergy as security for loans, and aesthetic goods given up by the Christian well-to-do who required financial assistance. The work also explores frescoes and decorations likely painted by non-Jews in medieval and early modern Jewish homes located in Germanic lands, and the ways in which Jews hired Christian artists and craftsmen to decorate Hebrew prayer books and create liturgical objects. Conversely, Christians frequently hired Jewish craftsmen to produce liturgical objects used in Christian churches.

With rich archival documentation, Cultural Exchange sheds light on the social and economic history of the creation of Jewish and Christian art, and expands the general understanding of cultural exchange in brand-new ways.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Clearly, this book is only the beginning of a series of works dedicated to the study of material links between medieval Jewish and Christian communities and of the interdependence they unveil. And we can only hope that its successors will keep up the high standards of writing and methodological expertise established in Cultural Exchange by Joseph Shatzmiller."--Andor Kelenhegyi, European Review of History
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Joseph Shatzmiller is the Smart Family Professor of Judaic Studies at Duke University. He is the author of "Shylock Reconsidered" and "Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society".
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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations vii
Preface xi
Introduction 1
Part 1 Pawnbrokers: Agents of Cultural Transmission 5
Chapter 1 Financial Activities in the Medieval Marketplace 7
Chapter 2 Securities for Loans: Church Liturgical Objects 22
Chapter 3 High Finance: Urban and Princely Pledges 45
Part 2 Human Imagery in Medieval Ashkenaz 59
Chapter 4 The Decorated Home of the Rabbi of Zurich 61
Chapter 5 German Jews and Figurative Art: Appreciation and Reservation 73
Part 3 At the Marketplace: Professionals in the Service of the "Other" 111
Chapter 6 Christian Artists and Jewish Patronage 113
Chapter 7 Jewish Craftsmanship at the Service of the Church 141
Conclusions 158
Appendix Jewish Traditions and Ceremonies: How Original? 162
Select Bibliography 167
Index 177
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