The Mystery of the Slashed Nose and the Empty Box: Towards a Theology of Jewish Art

Raphael, Melissa R ORCID: 0000-0003-1623-4971 (2006) The Mystery of the Slashed Nose and the Empty Box: Towards a Theology of Jewish Art. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 5 (1). pp. 1-19. doi:10.1080/14725880500511126

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Supported by cultural and historical studies of Jewish art, this article challenges twentieth‐century Jewish religious thought’s resistance to the visual image by construing Jewish art as a revelatory process carried within the patterning of Jewish diasporic movement across time and space. This movement produces a spectacle that thereby defines Jewish art not as the production of ceremonial or cultural artefacts, nor as anti‐images of absence and deliberate distortion, but as the dance or figure traced by the sanctificatory passage of divine presence. As a holy convocation of bodies upon whom the glory of God’s presence resides, Israel becomes God’s object (and its own source) of aesthetic judgment. This article’s aesthetic construal of Israel as a metonymic representation of divine presence is supported by the argument that creation, revelation and redemption are primarily aesthetic phenomena effected by God’s imagining of the world at creation, by the world’s primordial revelation to God of its beauty, and by Israel’s fidelity to God’s arch‐commandment of love in its redemptive restoration of the divine image from the ravages of history.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 11:03
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57

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