Why was Jewish the only non-Christian minority tolerated in Europe? How did the Jewish and Christians share their neighborhood? What was the tendency in attitude to this minority in Medieval Europe? Today, Chris Mielke discusses these and many other questions with Carsten Wilke, primary CEU specialist in Jewish studies. 

 The historian speaks about engagement of Jewish people into various aspects of medieval life such as royal courts, Christian communities, gothic style, medieval theology, and economy. Also, he shared the conclusions of his previous research about the role of rabbinate, a unique institution, which changed a lot from Antiquity to modernity. More recently, Carsten Wilke has been working with Hebrew grave inscriptions, so he explains how this type of source can reveal communication between Jewish diasporas, local traditions of commemoration of death, and Jewish visions of the afterlife. The discussion reveals why the Jewish were simultaneously stigmatized and needed in medieval society and how changes in the society influenced the toleration of the Jewish people.

Past Perfect! is CEU Medieval Radio’s show on medieval and early modern history and culture, where Christopher Mielke casually discusses with his guests various issues from the crusades to archeo-zoology to medieval urine sampling. The discussions are made with the aim to popularize medieval and early modern studies with the help of experts such as early musicians, historians, philologists and archeologists.

This episode was first recorded and broadcast in 2013.


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