9-11 July 2019, Sibiu (Romania)
Anti-Jewish elements have persisted in the Byzantine liturgy for over a thousand years in areas under the influence of the Eastern Christian Empire. These elements have spread through translation from Byzantium to all countries and cultures which worship today according to the Byzantine rite. Despite the profound theological and liturgical changes that have taken place in the second half of the 20th century in Western Christianity, hymns that were composed in the polemical context of the 8th-9th centuries are still used today in Eastern countries and in the Christian Orthodox Communities of the diaspora.
The conference with the topic Byzantine liturgy and the Jews addresses the issue of liturgical anti-Judaism from various perspectives, in order to provide the necessary tools so that we can better understand this reality:
Historical-criticism - which hymns fall within this discussion? When were these texts included in the liturgy and what were the overall social and political contexts in which they were written? What differences can one identify between original versions and translated ones and what are the aspects that have led to innovation in translating these texts? And how do texts with Byzantine anti-Jewish elements differ from analogous texts from the Syriac, Coptic, Armenian and Georgian traditions?
Patristic and liturgical approach - which is the role of hymns within the liturgical structure? What is the relationship between hymnography and homilies and other patristic writings? To what extent can one identify a patristic origin of certain anti-Jewish topoi and how did this very fact assure their tra nsmission in worship? And what can be said about the image of the Jews in Byzantine iconography and their possible relation with hymnographic texts?
Theological approach -what kind of relationship is there between biblical statements regarding Israel and anti¬Jewish hymnography? What is truly anti-Jewish in the Byzantine rite? Which are the criteria that would guide us today in evaluating liturgical texts from this perspective?
Socio-cultural impact - to what extent can one follow how these hymns reflect, consolidate and modify the mentalities of given religious communities?