"In Others’ Words: Impersonation and Legitimation in Jewish and Christian Texts from Late Antique and the Middle Byzantine Periods"
In Jewish and Christian literature throughout late antiquity and the Middle Byzantine period, rabbinic, post-rabbinic, and Christian authors employed the rhetorical device of ethopoieia or impersonation to speak as the Other character about or against whom they wrote. This talk investigates the various uses of impersonation as a unique method of “othering” in Christian anti-Jewish and in Jewish anti-Christian texts and excerpts, and it explains the enduring images that Christians and Jews created for each other. This talk looks into what was at stake for both late antique and middle Byzantine period Christians and Jews vis-à-vis each other, showing how impersonation constituted a veiled process of “othering” with unequal consequences for them.
Michail Kitsos is the Igor Kaplan Postdoctoral Fellow in Christian-Jewish Relations at the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies and the Toronto School of Theology. Kitsos holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, specializing in the History of Judaism and Christianity in Late Antiquity. In their research, they use Christian and Jewish sources and examine Jewish and Christian identity formation and construction, production of “otherness” and difference, as well as the intertwined histories of Jews and Christians in late antiquity and the Middle Byzantine period in the Mediterranean world with an emphasis on the ongoing crossing of religious and social boundaries. They are currently working on their book project which is a study of Jewish and Christian use of impersonation in late antiquity and the Middle Byzantine period.
This lecture will be delivered on Zoom. To attend, please click THIS LINK at 4pm on Monday, February 7th, 2022.
Igor Kaplan Postdoctoral Fellow in Christian-Jewish Relations Lecture