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Jewish Money and the Image of the Jewish Body in the Middle Ages

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3 July, 2019 @ 6.30 pm - 8.00 pm

Two adults looking at a Torah scroll in the Judaica gallery

Through such vivid literary characters as Shylock, Fagin, and the notorious Jud Süß, the stereotype of the swarthy, hook-nosed, grasping Jewish moneylender has become a staple of western antisemitic discourse.  However, this ugly caricature was a relatively late development.  It was spurred not by actual Jews’ appearances or actions, but by the desire of medieval Christian clerics to warn against the seductions of their suddenly more prosperous world.

In this talk Professor Sara Lipton traces the slowly evolving image of Jews in medieval art, depicted first as worldly and materialistic, and, ultimately, dangerous and demonic.

Sara Lipton is a Professor of History at Stony Brook University.  She has been a Fellow at The Metropolitan Museum, New York; the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris; and the University of Oxford. Her most recent book is Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography (Metropolitan Books, 2014).

Doors 5.30pm
Galleries 5.30-6.30pm
Shop 5.30-6.30pm
Café 5.30-6.30pm
Event: 6.30-8pm

This event is in partnership with the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London.

For additional events held at Birkbeck, please visit

Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London logo

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3 July, 2019
6.30 pm - 8.00 pm
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