Is a Manuscript A Mirror? What Can Religious Studies Learn from Art?
Art is unequivocally a part of Christian tradition, since Christians understand God to have incarnated God’s Self in a human body, effectively reproducing the Divine Image in another medium. Jews, of course, had a different take on the use of art. We know about the notorious Second Commandment, which allegedly prohibits the biblical Israelites from making art. But does it? And what did that commandment mean for later, post-biblical Jews? Since both Jews and Christians made art in all periods of history, one might profitably ask how these two approaches to art should be viewed, compared. How were they used to understand each religion’s view of the place of people in the world and in relationship to God—raising questions of religion, aesthetics, and politics?
Marc Michael Epstein, Professor of Religion and Visual Culture on the Mattie M. Paschall (1899) & Norman Davis Chair and Director of Jewish Studies at Vassar College will attempt to provide some answers to these enduring and compelling questions.
This event is sponsored by CDI and the Kaplan Family Library.