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Jews and the Anti-Renaissance

The Renaissance is associated with the rediscovery of Classical antiquity as well as with intense creative output in the visual arts, literature, philosophy and science. But it was also suffused with arcane, esoteric and even irrational phenomena that existed outside the Renaissance canon.

These grotesque, monstrous, demonic and primitive elements originated in medieval folklore, fantastical events, ancestral religions, rural legends, superstitions and old wives’ tales, as well as kabbalistic, astrological and alchemical speculations.

Our speakers will consider how Jews and Jewish culture have been situated in both categories — as contributors to the construction of the Renaissance canon and as fostering “anti-Renaissance” phenomena.  With:

Dr. Alessio Assonitis, Director, The Medici Archive Project

Dr. Gabriele Mancuso, Director, Eugene Grant Research Program on Jewish History and Culture in Early Modern Europe
This program is sponsored by Temple Emanu-El members Andrew and Kimberly Moses.    

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