The study of liturgy is intrinsically interdisciplinary and comprises elements of music, drama, theater and devotion that are of great consequence to believers and scholars far and wide. Liturgy is both history and theology, purporting to reflect and propagate values that inform individuals and communities alike, playing a vital role in the construction of sacred and lay memory and identity. As a multi-sensory experience, liturgy maintains a dynamic relationship with the surrounding space and its visual components, including art, artifacts and architecture. The essays in this book examine diverse aspects of liturgy and the arts, and were written by scholars working in the disciplines of musicology, social and cultural history, art history, material culture, and the history of the Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages and beyond. The articles engage in a comparative and interdisciplinary discourse, in order to contextualize the liturgical practices within the production of medieval cultural memory, and within the symbolic traditions expressed through liturgy and the arts. Primary sources include texts, rituals, music and visual media from Western Europe (Christian and Jewish) and the Latin Levant. The study of written, visual and musical constructs identifies the values and ideals conveyed and instilled through Jewish and Christian liturgical commemoration, and explores how these activated the faithful's idea of community and their place within it. 

Brostowsky-Gilboa Dana, and Nea Liat. The Ancient Throne: The Mediterranean, Near East, and Beyond, from the 3rd Millennium BCE to the 14th century CE. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2020.

The Ancient Throne provides readers with a collection of articles that either study specific thrones known from historical texts, artistic depictions or excavations, or offer an overview of the role of thrones from as early as ancient Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BCE to as late as Iran and China in the 14th century CE. The volume thus collates the work of scholars who specialise in diverse cultures and who have all found thrones to be helpful
vehicles for promoting unique inquiries into such issues as royalty, society, ritual, and religion within their areas of expertise. The breadth of their collective efforts offers a comparative view through which the dissemination of political and ideological concepts may be better explored. The following collection of articles, however, does not attempt to provide a single answer to the question of what a throne is or is not, but instead presents the authors’ individual – and sometimes conflicting – outlooks. While the volume is far from being a comprehensive survey of thrones in Eurasian cultures across the ages, it nevertheless offers readers a specialised bibliography and draws attention to scholarly trends that will be useful to future studies on thrones in general. Most of all, the volume cohesively suggests that thrones have been a meaningful category of material culture throughout history, one that may inspire both inter-cultural and intra-cultural studies of the ways in which types of chairs can embody, execute or induce notions of kingship and a
range of concepts pertaining to the religious, ideological, and social spheres.


This collection of articles deals with the notion of Eros from a broad range of historical, literary and cultural perspectives. One of the primary aims of the collection is to comprehend both the power and the problematic aspects of Eros and its contribution to the formation of family and community. 

Considering the concept of Eros textually and theoretically, the variety of topics raised reflects the different disciplines of the authors as well as their interdisciplinary approach. Special emphasis was given to the historical aspect of Eros, its temporal location and contextualization. 
Link to book description at OLMS website.



Rivlin-Katz, Dikla, Hacham, Noah, Herman, Geoffrey, Sagiv, Lilach. A Question of Identity: Social, Political, and Historical Aspects of Identity Dynamics in Jewish and Other Contexts. Oldenbourg: De Gruyter, 2019.


The quest for personal and social identity is an existential and fundamental

aspect of human existence. It affects how relationships are formed within

national, religious, and ethnic groups. This construct of identity is the focus of

the papers collected in this volume organized by our research group "Question of Identity",

which were offered at its 2017 international conference.  Topics explored

include: minority groups within the Persian Achaemenid Empire; Jews in

Sasanian Babylonia and Palestine; Jewish identity in the Hellenistic world;

archaeological tools for the study of identity; and challenges to dichotomous

views on religious and national identities in the Early Modern and Modern eras. 


Link to a book description at DE GRUYTER website:

Furstenberg, Yair. Jewish and Christian Communal Identities in the Roman World. Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Jews and Christians under the Roman Empire shared a unique sense of community. Set apart from their civic and cultic surroundings, both groups resisted complete assimilation into the dominant political and social structures. However, Jewish communities differed from their Christian counterparts in their overall patterns of response to the surrounding challenges. They exhibit diverse levels of integration into the civic fabric of the cities of the Empire and display contrary attitudes towards the creation of trans-local communal networks. The variety of local case studies examined in this volume offers an integrated image of the multiple factors, both internal and external, which determined the role of communal identity in creating a sense of belonging among Jews and Christians under Imperial constraints.

Link to book description at Brill's website.