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  • 1
    Language: English
    Year of publication: 2024
    Titel der Quelle: Religions
    Angaben zur Quelle: 15,1 (2024) 1-20
    Keywords: English drama History and criticism Middle English, 1100-1500 ; Jewish merchants Drama ; Christianity and other religions Judaism To 1500 ; History
    Abstract: This paper examines the depiction of Jewish and Christian merchants in the medieval English Host miracle play, the Croxton Play of the Sacrament. This play is a critical illustration of religious racialization, effectively demonstrating the perpetuation of anti-Jewish stereotypes and legitimizing violence. Positioned within a broader scholarly debate, particularly in relation to Augustine’s doctrine of Jewish witness, the play portrays Jews as allegorical figures that validate Christian theological constructs. This paper delves into the representation and linguistic depiction of Jewish characters in the play, emphasizing their systematic dehumanization and instrumentalization in Christian narratives. A significant focus is placed on the coerced conversion of Jewish characters, which forces them into the archetype of the “Wandering Jew”, thereby highlighting motifs of symbolic aggression and unending diaspora. This paper also confronts contemporary scholarly perspectives that view the play as challenging religious boundaries, positing that such interpretations overlook the ingrained racialization and marginalization of Jewish identity during the European Middle Ages. It argues that the play’s transient disruption of power dynamics ultimately reinforces prevailing social hierarchies, thereby solidifying deep-seated anti-Jewish sentiments.
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