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Jewish-Christian Relations from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean: Evidence from Material Culture


CERES Palais, room "Ruhrpott" (4.13)

Research on the written and material sources for Jewish-Christian interaction in medieval and early modern times has been, for the most part, focused on Western Europe and the Byzantine Empire. In these areas, Jews lived as a minority under Christian rule. In contrast, in regions to the east of the Byzantine Empire, from the eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia, the Red Sea and India, Jews and Christians interacted, in some cases, on different terms: Jews and Christians as two minority groups; Jews and Christians as two sovereign entities; and "imagined" Jews, appearing in Christian texts, artistic representations and discourse in regions where Jews may not have existed.

Up to the present, research on Jewish-Christian interaction east of the Byzantine Empire in medieval and early modern times (ca. 600-1800 CE) has tended to focus on textual evidence. This conference will examine the ways in which material culture can shed light on this interaction. The regions which will be addressed include the Near East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, India and the Horn of Africa.


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