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University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN 37403-2504)
Irven M. Resnick (Project Director: March 2005 to November 2017)

EH-50047-05
Institutes for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

Totals:
$180,943 (approved)
$174,382 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2005 – 12/31/2006

Representations of the Other: Jews in Medieval Christendom

A five-week institute to be held at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (UK) for twenty-five college and university teachers to examine changes in the legal and economic status, social condition, and cultural depictions of Jews in medieval Europe.

This institute’s purpose is to examine changing depictions of Jews as the most visible ‘other’ in medieval Christendom. In the early Middle Ages ‘otherness’ had largely been defined in terms of language, custom, law, or religion. By the fourteenth century a sense of biological descent began to replace cultural factors as the basis of group identity. New constructions of ‘otherness’ help to explain the deteriorating status of Jewish communities in Europe, leading to the eventual expulsion of those who refused baptism from most lands in Christendom. This evolution of medieval European conceptions of ‘otherness’and the efforts of contemporary scholars across disciplines to explain it will constitute our field of study.