The third and final appointment 2019-2020 Lecture Series entitled “Art as / in dialogue” took place on the Zoom platform on Wednesday 13 May at 18:00 (CET / Rome time). The “Jewish and Christian Visual Arts” conference – which the Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies present together with the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Center for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, along with the collaboration of the Department of Jewish Culture of the Jewish Community of Rome – examined some themes in the visual arts realm (representation, the sacred, experience, and emotion) all both poignant points of contact, as well as differences providing fertile soil for insight and dialogue between the Jewish and Christian traditions.
Dr Amitai Mendelsohn offered a rare look at how Israeli artists have explored Jesus. Investigating the various appearances of the figure of Jesus in Israeli art as a multifaceted and ever-present phenomenon, he examined works by prominent artists from different generations, discussing the evolving attitudes of Jewish art towards Jesus, from the second half of the nineteenth century until today.
Prof. Marc Michael Epstein addressed how the art of the Christian and Jewish traditions have explored emotions. As Prof. Epstein suggests, «Emotions, being subjective by nature, are notoriously slippery to talk about – ask anyone who is in a romantic relationship. […] But, as in scientific work, it is the close focus on details that yields the most rewarding results, even though, in this instance, the results take the form of a spectrum of possibilities rather than a single, monolithic, or irrefutable solution».