Ihnat Kati, Mary and the Jews in Anglo-Norman monastic culture
Ihnat Kati, Mary and the Jews in Anglo-Norman monastic culture, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Rubin, Queen Mary University)
Anglo-Norman England saw the development of two parallel and related phenomena: the growth of the cult of the Virgin Mary and increasing engagement with ideas about Jews and Judaism. This thesis looks at the ways in which Benedictine monks contributed to the fashioning of images of Jews in sources related to the Marian cult in the post-Conquest period, 1066-1154. Approaching monastic culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, it examines materials as diverse as sermons, liturgy, theological treatises, and art and architecture for the evolution of the Marian cult after the arrival of the Normans, tracing the reform of liturgical practices that spurred considerable innovation in the cult’s development. It explores these same sources for images of Jews, and finds that Jews were at the centre of reflection on Mary in theological and apocryphal traditions dating back to early Christianity, with Jews acting as prototypical doubters of Mary’s sanctity and virginity. Taken up with renewed interest in Anglo-Norman England, theological consideration of Mary’s place in the Christian narrative was complemented by the first compilation of collections of her miracles, part of an impulse to record the lives and miracles of saints in post-Conquest England. As a fundamental yet little explored element of the Marian cult, the miracles showcase liturgical practices worthy of reward, and contrast her devotees with Jews, portrayed as sacrilegious, blaspheming and violent. Through miracle, sermon, liturgy and theology, English monasteries at the turn of the twelfth century helped to construct images of Jews connected with the burgeoning cult of the Virgin that had a lasting and pervasive legacy.