Oh, Bestia Synagoga! The Representation of Jews in Czech Sermons at the Turn of the 17th and 18th Centuries

  • Daniel Soukup Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Słowa kluczowe: Image of Jews, Early Modern Homiletics, Catholic Sermons, Representation of Jews in Literature, Anti-Jewish Rhetoric, History of Jews in the Czech Lands

Abstrakt


The main aim of this study is to present how early modern preaching in the Czech lands shaped the image of the local Jewish community in Christian eyes at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. Bohemian and Moravian preachers, drawing from medieval literature, were fundamentally influenced by the traditional theological concept of Jews as a living witness to the Christian truth. At the same time, Baroque sermons reused medieval exempla and miracula preserving typical anti-Jewish narratives. Due to the increasing number of Bohemian and Moravian Jewry at the end of 17th century, and the socio-economical tension between Christian and Jewish communities, catholic preachers pursued contemporary topics and criticized unpermitted contacts, allegedly leading to the inferior status of Christians. On the other hand, these critical notes usually were targeted primarily on Christian believers and their laxity in the observance of religious life, as well as ignorance of social hierarchy. Although the Czech Catholic sermons constructed the hostile perception of Jews, the preachers endeavoured to avoid vulgar anti-Judaism and partly smoothed popular anti-Jewish sentiments.

Biogram autora

Daniel Soukup, Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

Daniel Soukup – is Head of the Department for Research into Old Czech Literature (Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences), and currently, he is Assistant Professor at the Kurt and Ursula Schubert Centre for Jewish Studies (Palacký University, Olomouc). In 2014–2015, he was postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Jewish Studies (CJS) supported by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. He has been published in English and Czech in several international journals and books. Since 2016, he is editorial board member of the journal Judaica Bohemiae. His area of interest are representation of Jews and Judaism in medieval and early modern literature from the Czech Lands, anti-Jewish violence in the Middle Ages, and the history of Jews in the Czech Lands, especially Moravia.

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Opublikowane
2019-01-07
Dział
Images of the Jews