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Judaic and Early Christian Eras

1. Describe for me the key contribution in art, music, architecture, philosophy and literature for the Judaic and early Christian eras linking it to the cultural patterns of the two religions.

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1. Describe for me the key contribution in art, music, architecture, philosophy and literature for the Judaic and early Christian eras. Then show how these developments affected cultural patterns with the two religions.

Art and Paintings

The use of paintings in the decoration of synagogues goes back to at least the 3rd century ce and is found in the late pre-emancipation and modern synagogues as well. Manuscripts too were illuminated with miniatures, and during the Renaissance the Scrolls of Esther and the beautifully decorated ketubbot (marriage contracts) appeared.

Nonetheless, the appearance of Jewish artists in painting and sculpture is a modern phenomenon. Beginning in the 19th century, interest grew apace, and more and more Jews were to be found in these fields, often in the avant-garde. Some, such as Marc Chagall (1887-1985) and Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973), created specifically religious art.


During the synagogue service, the cantor, reads the service and declaims the scriptural lessons to certain set musical modes that vary with the season and occasion.

? Many of these call for melodic responses on the part of the congregation (religious and cultural pattern). The origins of these chants are ancient, often obscure, and equally complicated.

? Whatever the basic materials may have been, they were enlarged, varied, and reworked through the centuries in the various environments in which the Jews lived (showing the varying cultural changes and patterns). In modern times, musicologists began to examine the history of synagogal music, analyzing its basic structures and its relationship to the music of Christian liturgical traditions (link to Christian culture).

? In the 19th century in western Europe, much of the traditional synagogal music was either discarded or reworked under the influence of Western forms and styles (Jewish cultural patterns influenced by Western forms and style). For example, the introduction of the pipe organ in some more-liberal synagogues provoked a fierce controversy because of the prohibition against instrumental music in services, the general opposition to music in the liturgy as a memorial to the destruction of the Temple, and the organ's association with Christian liturgical music.


The building of synagogues too is an expression of artistic interest and concern, ...

Solution Summary

The key contributions in art, music, architecture, and arts for Judaic and early Christian eras are identified and discussed in terms of cultural patterns of the two religions.