Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World Toward a New Jewish Archaeology Synopsis
Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World explores the Jewish experience with art during the Greco-Roman period - from the Hellenistic period through the rise of Islam. It starts with the premise that Jewish art in antiquity was a 'minority' or 'ethnic' art and surveys ways that Jews fully participated in, transformed, and at times rejected the art of their general environment. Art and Judaism focuses upon the politics of identity during the Greco-Roman period, even as it discusses ways that modern identity issues have sometimes distorted and at other times refined scholarly discussion of ancient Jewish material culture. Art and Judaism, the first historical monograph on ancient Jewish art in forty years, evaluates earlier scholarship even as it sets out in new directions. Placing literary sources in careful dialogue with archaeological discoveries, this 'New Jewish Archaeology' is an important contribution to Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, Art History, and Classics.
Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World Toward a New Jewish Archaeology Press Reviews
'... this is a rich and important work that will be central to all future discussions of ancient Jewish art and Judaism. Fine demonstrates that ancient Jewish art must be understood within the context of the Greco-Roman world as well as from the perspective of the history of art ...' Bryn Mawr Classical Review 'The first section introducing the history of how interest in Jewish art evolved is fascinating, and the author's use of rabbinical texts is authoritative. There is a vast volume of data here, extremely beneficial for students and scholars alike.' Minerva 'Praiseworthy for its near encyclopedic coverage and its insights into the evolution of late ancient Jewish material culture and theology, the book's supreme virtues reside in its humane and refreshing methodology.' Kalman P. Bland, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 'It is a book which deserves wide readership and debate. ... This book is sparky ... it is highly intelligent and fizzes with good ideas ... it is scholarly - and also pleasingly self-reflexive about its scholarship. It is a book that takes the sword to the idea of Jewish aniconism ... and like most slashing swords it doesn't take prisoners. It absolutely should be read by anyone interested in the theology or history of visual representation in the late antique.' Journal of Theological Studies '... a landmark book which both signals a fundamental transformation in its field and is at the same time the performer of a great element of the change. The study of Jewish art and archaeology in antiquity will not be the same after it ...' Jas Elsner, Oxford University