When the Eastern Roman armies arrived to the westernmost Mediterranean region of Balearica and Spania in the 6th century, they encounter a diverse and complex society: a mixture of Christian communities with divergent doctrines, and non-Christian Jewish communities amongst them. While conventional history and archaeology ignored the latter, in recent years it was possible to detect in the archaeological record this diverse society in constant movement and change. Through an archaeological exploration of both the Christian and Jewish populations, the evidence of Christian basilicas in the Balearic Islands provide new perspectives that were not considered before: the influence of Jewish communities on Christian art and viceversa in a western Mediterranean context. This book manuscript tries to answer several questions from this theme. How did these material interactions between Jews and Christians occur? How did both communities relate to the religious and cultural centers, especially Constantinople? What was this cultural phenomenon’s projection beyond the Empire’s ever-changing borders? With the innovative findings and methods from recent decades in Spanish archaeology, this project’s aim is to explore these questions, with special focus on the Balearic Islands and their archaeological evidence.
Alexander Bar-Magen Numhauser earned his PhD in Archaeology, Prehistory and Heritage from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) in 2017. His main field of expertise is the archaeological study of Judaism in the Western Mediterranean, focusing on Late Antique and Medieval periods in the Iberian Peninsula. In this research he applies an interdisciplinary approach to the world of western Late Antique Judaism, before the rise of the later Sephardi civilization. In addition to that he also worked and researched in the archaeology of minorities, archaeological methodology, archaeology of human rights, and forensic archaeology. His postgraduate and doctoral studies were generously supported by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid’s Postgraduate Scholarship, the Paideia European Institute for Jewish Studies’ One-Year Program (2012-2013), and the Rotschild (Yad-Hanadiv) Foundation Europe’s Doctoral Fellowship (2014-2017). Furthermore, he is collaborating in the renewal of the “Sala II” exposition in the Museo Sepharad in Toledo.
This project examines the reinvention of the Reformation in modern Germany and Europe through the making of the Corpus Reformatorum (1834–60), the state-sponsored, critical edition of texts from the sixteenth-century reformer Philip Melanchthon. It uniquely indicates the contested alliance between Protestantism and “progress,” the latter understood especially in terms of scientific achievement and modernization in religious and cultural life, with political consequences. Through the investment of Prussia’s powerful Ministry of Culture, backed by the Crown, and edited by the one of the leading rationalists of the day, the series came to signify the new scholarly ethos, progressive theological spirit, and distinct cultural and ecclesiastical sensibilities the state pursued over much of the nineteenth century.
Zachary Purvis is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He completed his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford (2014). He is the author of Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Oxford University Press, 2016), awarded Best First Book by the Ecclesiastical History Society. His articles and essays have appeared in such venues as Church History, Journal of the History of Ideas, and The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century Christian Thought, among others. His research has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Fulbright Program, Leibniz-Institute for European History, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Leverhulme Trust, and other institutions.