The Binding or Sacrifice of Isaac:
A Central Theme in the Art of the Three Monotheistic Religions
May 29 • 6:00p
Free to the public.
Dr. Shalom Sabar
Professor of the History of Art, Jewish Folklore and Material Culture at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Schusterman Visiting Scholar, at the University of Washington, Seattle
Genesis 22:1-19 tells the amazing story of Abraham, the faithful believer, who accepts the command of God without question, and is willing to offer the son for whom he waited so long, as a sacrifice. While the Bible does not give the readers many details on the heroic drama that took place, the powerful story attracted a rich variety of comments on the nature of the event, its meaning and significance. Jewish, Christian and Islamic theologians dedicated many efforts to interpret the biblical event according to the principles of their respective religion—presenting the story as a supreme example of the theology of each religion, respectively. In the lecture we will examine how works of art created by artists representing the three religions, from Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, present the seemingly same narrative from totally different points of view, revealing the deep sentiments, ideology, beliefs, and hopes of their creators and the audience for which they were intended.