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How Jews have been portrayed in Christian Art

Tuesday, 22 September, 4:30 pm6:00 pm AEST

This event was initially scheduled for 8 September, but was postponed to 22 September.

Presented by Dr Claire Renkin, Yarra Theological Union

Dr Renkin will use art from different periods of the Christian era, sharing a wide range of images via zoom and screen share. She will explore how in medieval and early modern Europe visual images too often served to reinforce defamatory stereotypes of Jews; and will survey how some of the most familiar biblical stories promoted anti-Jewish visual rhetoric. In addition to treating well-known scriptural narratives, Clare will also show how late medieval communities invented tales which defamed Jews as murderous enemies of Christians. Astonishingly some of the images inspired by these legends were still attracting devotion well into the early twentieth-century. The presentation will invite discussion of both of how visual images manipulated narrative and of how we today might interrogate the long-term impact of such artifacts.

Claire Renkin has a PhD in Art History from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. During the 1990s she lectured in art history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Claire lectures in art history and spirituality at Yarra Theological Union, University of Divinity, Melbourne, where she teaches several courses on the art and spirituality of Western Europe ranging from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern period. Her research and publications focus on visual imagery, gender and female sanctity, c. 1300-1700.

Artwork above: shows a detail of Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Presentation in the Temple, 1342.
The detail depicts the Virgin and two attendants wearing earrings.
In late medieval Siena, only Jewish women wore earrings!

Hosted by

Jewish-Christian Relations Team, Sister of Our Lady of Sion.

Join on Zoom: 


Meeting ID: 997 3388 5070   Passcode: 858297


Tuesday, 22 September
4:30 pm–6:00 pm AEST
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  • Want to participate, please advise whether there is a zoom link to join.

    I’m a Jesuit, previously taught at seminary and universities, also have been doing paintings (oil on canvas) and other forms of art for years.

    Your kind help would be deeply appreciated. Many thanks.

    Enoch Choy SJ
    Email: enochchoy333@gmail.com
    Mobile: 0401 236 832

    • Hi Enoch, thanks for getting in touch. You would be most welcome to join! At the time of the session, simply open Zoom, and type in the Meeting ID, followed by passcode for the session.
      Meeting ID: 921 7551 8255
      Passcode: 852278