The Role of Hebrew Letters in Making the Divine Visible

Medieval Jews engaged in various artistic activities and numerous illuminated manuscripts appear as a substantial part of visual culture in central Europe. Among the wealth of Christian visual themes, however, there was one that the Jews could not integrate into their religious culture: they were no...

Author: Kogman-Appel, Ḳaṭrin
Document types:Part of book
Media types:Text
Publication date:2016
Date of publication on miami:22.11.2017
Modification date:22.11.2017
Edition statement:[Electronic ed.]
Source:Hamburger, Jeffrey F.; Bedos-Rezak, Brigitte Miriam (Hrsg.): Sign and Design. Script as Image in Cross-Cultural Perspective (300–1600 CE). Washington D. C. : Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection, 2016, S. 153-171
Subjects:Exzellenzcluster Religion und Politik Cluster of Excellence Religion and Politics
DDC Subject:090: Handschriften, seltene Bücher
200: Religion
296: Judentum
700: Künste
License:InC 1.0
Language:English
Notes:Die Veröffentlichung erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Verlages Harvard University Press und Dumbarton Oaks Institute. Die Abbildungen im Artikel wurden aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen geschwärzt.
Format:PDF document
ISBN:978-0-88402-407-1
URN:urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-00249436050
Permalink:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-00249436050
Digital documents:kogman-appel_2016_role-of-hebrew.pdf

Medieval Jews engaged in various artistic activities and numerous illuminated manuscripts appear as a substantial part of visual culture in central Europe. Among the wealth of Christian visual themes, however, there was one that the Jews could not integrate into their religious culture: they were not prepared to create anthropomorphic representations of God. This stand does not imply that Jewish imagery never met the challenge involved in representing the Divine. Among the most lavish medieval Hebrew manuscripts is a group of prayer books that contain the liturgical hymns that were commonly part of the Central European prayer rites. Many of these hymns address God by means of the initial word el (God) and other forms that refer to the Divine. The proposed paper will examine these initials and the different ways in which they are integrated into the overall imagery of decorated initial panels, their frames, and entire page layouts.