Swerving from the Sacred: Disenchanted Jews in the Vernon Manuscript
Conference or Event Name
Fellow talk series
University of Michigan Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies
Ann Arbor, MI
This lecture queries the survival of three of the four surviving Marian lyrics in the fifteenth-century Vernon Manuscript (Eng. poet a. 1): “Child Slain by Jews,” “Jewish Boy,” and “Merchant’s Surety.” These three narratives perform a usefulness in two otherwise unrelated—if not downright antagonistic—cultural economies. In the medieval culture in which these narratives were born, the sacred Marian narratives frame Jews as secularized outsiders, concerned with material objects rather than perpetual sanctity. In the Early Modern culture in which they were preserved, these three Marian legends immortalize antisemitism as the perfect refrain in sacred Christian temporality and, perhaps more importantly, as essential narratives in the growth of a nation.
Krummel, Miriamne Ara, "Swerving from the Sacred: Disenchanted Jews in the Vernon Manuscript" (2016). English Faculty Presentations. 1.