Marc Michael Epstein

Marc Michael Epstein is professor of religion and visual culture and director of Jewish studies at Vassar College. He is the author of, among other books, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination (2011) and Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts (2015).

The Once and Future Temple, Part II

Christian Renaissance paintings of the Temple are the visual record of a theology that had devastating consequences in the lives of Jews from antiquity to the Middle Ages and beyond.

July 31 2020 12:15AM

The Once and Future Temple, Part I

Why do Christian depictions of the Jewish Temple look like the Dome of the Rock, the 7th-century Muslim structure built on that site?

July 30 2020 12:58AM

The Real Reason 14th-Century Italian Jews Put a Pig in Their Haggadah

It’s not that they were exceptionally sophisticated or tolerant, as one popular recent article would have it—it’s that they lived surrounded by people who raised pigs.

April 28 2020 12:36AM

God, Moses, and the Mystery of the Missing Kiss

Why, in all of Jewish art, is there no image depicting the moment of Moses’ death?

Oct. 18 2019 12:30AM

Making a Space for God

How the 14th-century creators of an illustrated Pentateuch managed to reflect both the Jewish and the Christian worlds they lived in.

June 4 2019 12:01AM

On View for the First Time in 100 Years: An Exquisite Medieval Haggadah

A few months ago, I was approached with a request to become involved in a then-secret mission: to examine one of the very few high-medieval Haggadahs still in private hands.

April 23 2019 12:01AM

What's a Virgin Mary-like Figure Doing in a Famous Medieval Haggadah?

The mystery of Zipporah’s pout.

Aug. 9 2018 12:50AM

A Look at Some of the Most Striking Haggadahs Ever Produced

A sumptuous new book collects 100 examples of decorated and illuminated haggadahs from across Europe, Israel, America, and beyond.

April 19 2018 12:01AM