Jewish Art and Visual Culture in Late Antiquity

Subject associations
JDS 515 / REL 514
Fall 2023
Ra'anan S. Boustan
Registrar description

Jews have often been thought of as a 'nation without art' who disparaged the visual and discouraged artistic creation. But the reality is very different: Judaism has a rich tradition of artistic production as well as a long history of reflection on the role of images in religious life. This course explores the nature and function of visual expression in ancient Judaism, with a particular focus on Jewish art from Late Antiquity. In addition to considering these materials in their own immediate contexts, we also use them to assess how Jews viewed and engaged with the wider visual culture of the ancient Mediterranean world.