New Book by Professor Magda Teter

A new book by Professor Magda Teter has just been released by Harvard University Press: Sinners on Trial: Jews and Sacrilege after the Reformation.

Magda Teter, Sinners on Trial

From Harvard’s website:

“In post-Reformation Poland—the largest state in Europe and home to the largest Jewish population in the world—the Catholic Church suffered profound anxiety about its power after the Protestant threat. Magda Teter reveals how criminal law became a key tool in the manipulation of the meaning of the sacred and in the effort to legitimize Church authority. The mishandling of sacred symbols was transformed from a sin that could be absolved into a crime that resulted in harsh sentences of mutilation, hanging, decapitation, and, principally, burning at the stake.

Teter casts new light on the most infamous type of sacrilege, the accusation against Jews for desecrating the eucharistic wafer….Recounting dramatic stories of torture, trial, and punishment, this is the first book to consider the sacrilege accusations of the early modern period within the broader context of politics and common crime. Teter draws on previously unexamined trial records to bring out the real-life relationships among Catholics, Jews, and Protestants and challenges the commonly held view that following the Reformation, Poland was a “state without stakes”—uniquely a country without religious persecution.”

The book has been praised as “innovative,” “magnificent,” “with meticulous attention to new archival sources and graceful narrative style.”

Upcoming Events in Jewish Studies This Semester

Spring 2011 (remaining events):

March 29, Yiddish Cultural Expressions Series: Professor Samuel Kassow, “Jewish Cultural Expression under Nazi Occupation – The Case of the Warsaw Ghetto,” CFA Hall, 7pm

March 31, The Ring Family Israeli Film Festival: a screening of two Israeli TV shows: Serugim (the dating saga of young Religious Israelis) and Arab Labor (An Arab journalist’s hilarious attempts to fit into Israeli society). Speaker: Isaac Zablozki, director of Film Programs at the JCC Manhattan. 8 pm, Goldsmith Family Cinema

April 5, Yiddish Cultural Expressions Series: Professor Olga Litvak, “Getting Tevye Wrong – Sholem-Aleichem’s Astonishing Farce of Misperception,” CFA Hall, 7pm

April 7, The Ring Family Israeli Film Festival: Wrist cutters: A Love Story. This is an adaptation of the internationally renowned writer, Etgar Keret’s novella Kneller’s Happy Campers (interesting translation….). Featured guest speaker, Etgar Keret. 8 pm, Goldsmith Family Cinema

April 13, Professor Shalom Sabar “The Sabbath in Jewish Art and Folklore,” Russell House, 8pm

April 28, The Samuel and Dorothy Frankel Memorial Lecture: Director Andrzej Krakowski will present his 2002 documentary “Farewell to My Country” about Jews forced to leave Poland in 1968, Goldsmith Family Cinema, Film Studies, 8 pm

May 3, Jewish and Israel Studies Student Achievements Showcase, Allbritton 103 at 4:30 PM