Medieval Jewish-Christian Relations: Religious Tolerance in the "Dark Ages?" ~ Dr. Lackner

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1y Jan 1, 2020

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen and firstly I wanted to say happy new year!

I wanted to start the year off by showing a positive and awesome video on positive interactions between Christians and Jews in the Middle Ages, and especially as a nice follow up to our previous episode on Medieval Antisemitism.

In this lecture Dr. Lackner transports us back into the Carolingian Empire under the rule of Charlemagne and eventually his son Louis the Pious. We explore the lives of Jews living under Carolingian rule and their roles ranging from administration and diplomacy to trade.

Next we explore the society of the Holy Roman Empire and the success that Jewish communities experienced as men ranging from the Priesthood and Papacy to Politicians ignored and occasionally bent the rules so to speak to attract Jewish families to their communities to further better their structure and economy as a whole.

We also take a look at interactions between Jews and Christians while especially looking at the women of both groups and how they were able to form friendly and intimate relationships with one another much easier than their in many cases suspicious male counterparts, from wet nursing to communal ovens we look at a different face of medieval society as we know it.

Last but not least we explore art and patronage between Christians and Jews in the Medieval world from coral rosary beads made by Sicilian Jews to art designed by Christians for their Jewish patrons and yes even taking a moment to examine mistakes by Christians in their failings in understanding Jewish life, religion and writing.

Touching briefly on conversions and Jews in the military service this episode covers a large and complicated period in human history and we get to explore a variety of topics on Jewish-Christian relations in the "Dark Ages" and we must ask ourselves, were the Middle Ages really that dark? Or do we as humans tend to focus on the negative moments of our history the most while unintentionally letting the many beautiful events and moments pass us by?

Further studies and resources!

Ibn-Khordadbeh's account of the Radhanites is available on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radhanite

Bishop Rudigar of Speyer's Contract to the Jews: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/1084landjews.asp

More from Dr. Lackner



Jews through Christian Eyes: The Jewish Other in Thirteenth-Century Papal Policy, Artwork, and Sermon Exempla


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