By Mitchell B. Merback
In 13 essays through major paintings historians, and a serious creation by way of the editor, "Beyond the Yellow Badge" seeks to reframe the connection among eu visible tradition and the altering element of the Christian majority's unfavorable conceptions of Jews and Judaism through the center a while and early glossy classes.
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Additional resources for Beyond the Yellow Badge: Anti-judaism and Antisemitism in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture (Brill’s Series in Jewish Studies, Volume 37)
Paradigm shifts in our mental representations of the world can and do occur. We can move from fearing to glorfying the Other. We can move from loving to hating. The most negative stereotype always has an overtly positive counterweight. As any image is shifted, all stereotypes shift. 15 What factors, then, determine the meaning of a stereotyped pictorial image for individuals and social groups at a given time and place? 16 Here another pivotal concept comes into play, that of the scapegoat mechanism.
Animated by the discourse of conspiracy (a deÀning theme of both medieval and modern antisemitisms, one that has only recently begun to receive the attention it deserves),35 these tropes ultimately triumphed over the outmoded “religious” accusations leveled against Jews—a sign, some would say, of the advent of a very different species of Jew-hatred, one peculiar to the modern world. V It is fascinating to note that, in the entire corpus of images devoted to Oppenheimer and his fate, only one presents him in a monstrous guise, bearing the stereotyped attributes of the Other.
How might such insights help us grapple with the real diversity of images and experiences connected with medieval and early modern Jewish-Christian relations, and do so in a way that spares the premodern period the double-burden of guilt for its own persecutions and those of our own era? Hoping to see this and other questions addressed in ways that were no longer beholden to outmoded models and conceptions, I organized a conference session—bearing the title of this anthology—at the 2003 meeting of the College Art Association.
Beyond the Yellow Badge: Anti-judaism and Antisemitism in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture (Brill’s Series in Jewish Studies, Volume 37) by Mitchell B. Merback