The medieval Christian attitude towards Jews included a pervasive fear of violence enacted against Christians. 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. Feeling Persecuted exposes the violence enacted by the Jews in the imaginations of Christians and how the images of this Christian suffering and persecution were central to medieval ideas of love, community and home. Images and texts from the period reveal a surprising practice of recreational persecution of Jews and show that the violence perpetrated against medieval Jews was far from simple anti-Semitism; it was in fact a complex part of medieval life and culture. This comprehensive look at medieval poetry, drama, visual culture, theology and philosophy makes Feeling Persecuted an important read for anyone interested in the history of Christian-Jewish relations and the impact of this history on modern culture.
About the Author
Anthony Bale is professor of English and medieval cultures at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is also the author of The Jew in the Medieval Book: English Antisemitisms 1350–1500.
Table of Contents
1 'He Who is in Pain is Alive'
2 The Violence of Memory: Seven Kinds of 'Jewish' Torture
3 The Jewish Profile and the History of Ugliness
4 The Jew's Hand and the Virgin's Bier: Tangible Interruption
5 Visiting Calvary: Contrition, Intimacy and Virtual Persecution
6 Making Calvary
7 Cultures in Pain
Conventions and Abbreviations References Select Bibliography Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index