Art and Judaism in the Ancient World (LA)

Subject associations
JDS 224 / REL 217
Spring 2020
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 that objects and images should play in religious life. Using both textual and artistic sources, this course explores the nature and function of art in ancient Judaism, from the Hebrew Bible to the end of late antiquity. A particular focus will be on Jewish attitudes toward and engagement with the visual and material cultures of the wider societies in which Jews lived.