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Jewish Scribes And Christian Illuminators Interstitial Encounters And Cultural Negotiation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on an instance in which Jewish patrons commissioned Jewish scribes and Christian illuminators in a self-conscious attempt to follow the practice of Christian lay people, especially the nobility, of commissioning sumptuous illuminated books as status symbols. First, it focuses on concrete processes of cultural negotiation between minority and majority subjects that are jointly involved in production. Author is interested in tracing the process: encounter, communication, and the back and forth of negotiation between two unequal partners of which the ?weaker one,? the Jewish patron, is in this case the customer with ?purchasing power? and has to be treated as such, so that the normative Jewish-Christian power relationships are temporarily suspended. It then focuses on mode of representation, which is neither iconography nor style in isolation. It is, rather, the method by which a narrative is pictured so as to transform Christian modes of representation into Jewish ones.

Keywords: Christian illuminators; cultural negotiation; interstitial encounters; Jewish scribes; Jewish-Christian power relationships



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