Living Questions: Bach and God: Bigotry in the Arts
In this week when Jews celebrate Passover and Christians celebrate Easter, it’s another installment of Living Questions, our monthly series in which we explore the role of religion in the public sphere.
Today: the thorny issue of anti-Judaism in some of the great works of Christian art, with two writers for whom the famed 18th-century German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, is a central focus.
The music scholar Michael Marissen has written extensively about the religious and often anti-Jewish sentiments in the texts that Bach chooses to set to his glorious music.
His latest book is called Bach and God. Marissen also explored this topic in a monograph he co-wrote in 2005 with Tom Hall and former ICJS executive director Christopher Leighton, called The Bach Passions in Our Time: Contending with the Legacy of Antisemitism.
Confronting the legacy of anti-Semitism in the arts, on this edition of Living Questions, a collaborative production of WYPR and the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS).