• Asher Lev at the Israel Museum: Stereotyping art and craft

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013-08-14)
    • Dissenting from Redemption: Judaism and Political Theology

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Berghahn, 2017-03-01)
      Beginning from a critique of Schmitt’s description of "secularised theological concepts" as insufficiently attentive to implicit religion, this paper utilises the concept of redemption as understood within Judaism and Christianity in order to investigate the problematique of inter-religious dialogue that is founded on “shared language”. It argues that political theology’s excessive attention to explicit forms of religion fails to account for the important role theological concepts play in forming implicit, unexamined pre-philosophical attitudes about the way the world works, and thus gives rise to a problematic illusion of shared values.
    • Ecclesiasticus, War Graves, and the secularization of British Values

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (De Gruyter, 2018-01-05)
      This article reads the design of the British Imperial War Graves cemeteries in the context of the religious pluralism of the late Empire. Reviewing the deliberations of the design committee and parliamentary debates on the design of the cemeteries, it notes that the Christian character of the cemeteries was relatively muted, a design decision which caused no small amount of public and political controversy, but which permitted the cemeteries to present an image of a unified Empire. The paper argues that the choice of quotations specifically from the apocrypha was an important and deliberate aspect of this presentational strategy.
    • Forgetting capsules: Public monuments and religious ritual

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (LIT-Verlag, 2015-03-04)
      A curious characteristic of urban monuments is their invisibility. Even major monuments fade from view with sufficient time and familiarity. People rushing to and from work, travelling a long-familiar route and preoccupied with their own concerns, seldom pause to examine the scenery in any depth. The work of recall prompted by the monuments is a task reserved for the leisured gaze. And if this is true of even the grandest monument, how much more so of the smaller memory markers, the plaques and cornerstones, the benches and decorative fountains, always already effacing their claim on attention, blending by design into the surrounding landscape? They function less as memorials than as forgetting capsules: the non-gaze of the not-viewer sweeping past the obscure and self-effaced marker enacts on a small scale the larger cultural relation to the event or individual the marker represents; the invisibility of the marker signals its subject’s dropping out of cultural consciousness. The readiness with which smaller memorials obtain invisibility in turn illuminates an often overlooked function of even the major monuments: by fixing the locus of memory at a single point, they contain memory and limit the times and places in which the past is at risk of spilling over into everyday life. The process of constructing a monument is a key stage in cultural trauma recovery, in which the traumatic event is acknowledged and incorporated into the cultural narrative in such a way that it can eventually fade safely into the background, rather than dominating everyday life.
    • Förlåtelse och teodicé efter Auschwitz

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Kulturföreningen Faethon, 2016-01-31)
      This article addresses questions regarding the possibility of forgiveness after Auschwitz.
    • Imitation and finitude: Towards a Jewish theology of making

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Mohr Siebeck, 2015-03-01)
      It has long been taken as a truism that Judaism as a whole is marked by a pervasive “hostility to the image”. The prevailing narrative takes the Second Commandment very much at face value, as a prohibition against the attempt to imitate anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. However, this narrative is based on an incomplete understanding of the textual and artefact record. This paper takes more recent scholarship into account, and attempts to contest this narrative, and to suggest that we can identify a Jewish tradition not just of visuality, but of art, and that, further, we can get there with the help of, rather than in spite of, the biblical text. It engages with a reading of the last third of the book of Exodus, weighing the duelling narratives of Bezalel and the Golden Calf against the theories of art which have risen to prominence in the modern era, attempting to formulate the basis for a Jewish theological aesthetics which affirms and embraces the visual arts.
    • The Necessity of a Jewish Systematic Theology

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (2017-12-22)
      Taking into account current disputes about the nature of theology and religious studies, both inside and outside of the academy, this article argues that the academic discipline of theology would benefit greatly by expanding its religious remit beyond the traditional field of Christian Systematic Theology to include constructive-critical insider engagement with the texts of other traditions--e.g., Jewish and Islamic theology.
    • None is Still Too Many: Holocaust Commemoration and Historical Anesthetization

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-02-05)
      This chapter highlights the tension between political engagement with Holocaust commemoration and responses to the current refugee crisis. Through an examination of historical sources, it makes the case that in spite of the rhetoric of “Never Again!” deployed in connection to the Holocaust, responses to the reality of refugees have changed very little since the 1930’s.
    • The Rabbi on the Train: Reflections on Forgiveness

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2015-10-02)
      This essay explores the theme of forgiveness in 20th century Jewish thought.
    • Rituals of Reconciliation? How Consideration of Ritual can Inform Readings of Catholic-Jewish Dialogue after the Holocaust

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Palgrave, 2019-08-06)
      One advantage of investigating inter-religious exchange through the lens of ritual is that it permits attention to a range of extra-textual phenomena such as tone, gesture, pacing, costume, and locatedness, which are capable of adding nuance to, or even subverting, a textual tradition. In the case of post-Holocaust reconciliation, it is worth considering whether and to what degree a consideration of ritual alters the conclusions that can be drawn from the record of published documents. This chapter will explore particular practices which have emerged in the context of post-Holocaust Catholic-Jewish dialogue, reading them as instances of inter-rituality and analysing the extent to which their inter-riting advances the project of reconciliation.
    • Speakers for the Dead: digital memory and the construction of identity

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Berghahn Books, 2018-06-19)
      In the wake of the killing of twelve people at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, thousands of individuals—many of whom had never before seen a copy of the paper—changed their Facebook statuses, profile pictures, or Twitter updates to “Je suis Charlie.” A month previously, a similar outpouring of digital sentiment took place in response to a New York grand jury’s decision not to indict police officers who had been filmed choking Eric Garner to death: #icantbreathe. These two events are, of course, not unique—one might also note Le Monde’s editorial headline on 12 September 2001, “Nous sommes tous Americains”, or even John F. Kennedy’s 1963 declaration “Ich bin ein Berliner”—but they are exemplary of an increasing tendency towards the appropriation of another’s identity as a ritual of public mourning. This paper considers these appropriative rituals in a wider historical context of memorialisation as constitutive of collective identity, arguing that, while the internet did not originate this ritual of remembrance via appropriation, its increasing dominance is a consequence of the immediacy and international nature of digital culture. It then presents an analysis of the politics of the “us” which results from these commemorative rituals, making some suggestions about whether, and how, the problematic notion of collective identity is transforming in the digital age.
    • Topos and Utopia: The place of art in the Revolution

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Rodopi, 2014-10-03)
      This book chapter discusses nationalism, art, and the invention of aniconism; the Bezalel School; and the Vitebsk School.
    • Tzedakah, Tikkun: Jewish Approaches to Social Justice

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2017-10-30)
      This chapter will present a historicised phenomenological account of the two dominant forms of social justice within Judaism: tzedakah (justice) and tikkun (advocacy, or, literally, “mending”). Tzedakah is a core principle of religious Judaism, and also has profound resonances within secular Judaism; the history of the Anglo-Jewish community is illustrative of the manner and extent to which tzedakah has shaped Jewish identity. The concept of tikkun is conceptually more ambiguous, and even now is understood very differently by different Jewish communities. Liberal Jews understand tikkun to be both the action of social justice advocacy (of which charitable giving is only a single component) and, simultaneously, a meta-principle which governs the interpretation of halakah (Jewish law) even to the point of over-riding particular halakhic restrictions which may otherwise impede advocacy activity. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are, conversely, likely to view strict adherence to halakah, including the practice of tzedakah, as the primary means of tikkun ha-olam (the mending of creation). In addition to the key distinction between Liberal and Orthodox social justice activity which emerges when tzedakah and tikkun are considered as modes of action, this chapter will also explore distinctions between ethnic and religious Judaism which emerge when consideration is given to the particular targets of social justice activity: which causes are self-evidently worthy of either charitable or activist intervention? What language is deployed in attempts to promote a cause through appeals to common (Jewish) values? Through a close examination of these issues, the ways in which different traditions of Judaism construct and enact concepts of social justice within both religious and ethnic frameworks will be discursively explored.
    • The work of creation: Image, idolatry, and Jewish discourse in theology and the arts

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2015-05-16)
      The Second Commandment, prohibiting both the worship and manufacture of graven images, is often employed as a mechanism for explaining a perceived absence of Jewish participation in the visual arts, in spite of a well recorded history of Jewish participation in the manufacture of graven images which are typically classed as craft objects. This article aims to introduce to theology the scepticism towards hierarchical distinctions between art and craft which is already familiar in the world of art theory, and by so doing prompt a dislocation of theological reflection on works of art from the point of visual engagement to the point of manufacture. It suggests that attentiveness to Jewish discourses about material production opens up interesting and potentially generative possibilities for work in theology and the arts beyond the consideration of specifically Jewish art.