Lily Arad, PhD
Holy Mountains, Viae crucis and Calvaries in the Iberian Peninsula
My work aims to document the visual projections of Jerusalem in Spain and Portugal from the sixteenth to the early decades of the twentieth century, focusing on monumental architectural reproductions and sculpture. Study cases shall mirror the development of the various objects in this wide geo-political and cultural region at different periods of time. Subsequently, ephemeral manifestations such as Holy Week processions and other religious rituals will be examined as well.
Current phase: ‘Via crucis in Galicia’
Thousands of stone crosses, cruceiros, Calvaries, and chapels, many of them part of a Via crucis, appear across Galicia. Embodying intense sacral and magical power, they are perceived by the people as essential to their life and redemption. They help believers engaging in the devotional practices of mental and kinetic re-enactment of the Passion to strengthen their faith and obtain divine graces.
My research focuses on holy mountains (sacri monti) and viae crucis, including a particular type of monumental cross-on-column (cruceiro) that I consider a synthetic substitute to the Via crucis. In addition to other kinds of popular devotional monuments made from stone, these are currently being catalogued by local anthropologists, mainly field researchers interested in revealing the culture and natural habitats of the people. Only the construction of holy mountains, which necessitated more complex organization, was documented at the time of their construction and reconstruction, especially in testaments and donation certificates; almost no documents are found for simpler viae crucis and crosses. The art-historical aspects of these items have yet to be studied.
In the absence of documentation, and in the light of anthropologists’ reports linking these monuments to ancient Celtic pagan cults with practically no reference to the original holy places of Jerusalem, an art-historical approach may prove helpful in answering basic questions. Does not the mere definition of these Galician spaces and monuments as Calvaries and viae crucis also offering indulgences and other blessings suggest a replica of Jerusalem’s loca sancta? Shouldn’t these monuments and their imagery be considered syncretised expressions of Galician traditions, devotions and folk rituals, on the one hand, and mental images of Jerusalem’s holy places and customs on the other?
Study Trip to Galicia
Galicia (Pontevedra and Ourense) for the 2011 Holy Week and Catalonia (Montserrat, Vic and Olerdola) during the following days. The trip was planned according to three main aims. First, for a preliminary acquaintance with sacred mounts housing the Stations of the Cross designed as chapels and containing sculpted scenes, viae crucis and cruceiros depicting the respective holy place, as well as two replicas of the Holy Sepulchre which have yet to be studied. Secondly, the conducting of research at the Montserrat Abbey Library and in Galician libraries. Third, discussions with Galician anthropologists studying the thousands of monuments related to the Cross and the Crucifixion in their homeland.
Other activities in relation to topic
Academic appointments at the Hebrew University
2011/12: B.A. Advanced course: ‘Local Time – Illusions of Time and Space’.
2008/9: M.A. Seminar: ‘”Port-city at the shore of eternity”: Images of Jerusalem in Israel and Europe 19th- 21st centuries’.
2007/8: M.A. Seminar: ‘Dreams and Hopes: the Impact of Germany on the Art of the Land of Israel’.
2000 to 2010: B.A. Advanced course: ‘The Art of the Land of Israel: umbilicum mundi or periphery?’
2000/1: B.A. Seminar: ‘The Art of the Loca sancta in the Land of Israel and in the West’.
Publications in relation to topic
‘An Absent Presence: Jerusalem in Montserrat’, in: Miscel.lània Litúrgica Catalana, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona [publication expected in December 2012].
‘Imagining Jerusalem: A Construction and Reconstruction through Travellers’ Narratives’, in: Travel in the Nineteenth Century: Narratives, Histories and Collections, ed. by Kate Hill, Laurie Garrison and Claudia Capancioni, Royal Historical Society and Lincoln University [publication expected in 2012].
The Crown of Jerusalem – Franz Joseph’s Dream of an Ideal Empire. Jerusalem: The European Forum at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2012 [forthcoming].
‘A (Hi)story of Jerusalem: Memories and Images in the Austro-Hungarian Empire’, in: Visual Constructs of Jerusalem, ed. by Bianca Kühnel, Galit Noga-Banai and Hanna Vorholt, (Leiden: Brill, 2012)[forthcoming].
‘The Emperor’s New Crowns: A Portrait Between Legend and History on the Mount of Olives’, in: Proceedings of the International Colloquium on the German Contribution to Cultural Development in Palestine, Jerusalem 21 April 2005, ed. by Michael Heinzelmann and Ejal J. Eisler, Hanover: Verlag des Deutschen Evangelischen Instituts für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes [in preparation].
Santa Maria de Barberà del Vallès: Fé i poder darrere les imatges sacres, Barcelona: Tabelaria, 2011.
‘Theater – eine kaiserliche Waffe. Ein himmlischer Segen für den Kreuzzug-Kaiser Wilhelm II. in Jerusalem’, in: Deutschland und Deutsche in Jerusalem, eine Konferenz in Mishkenot Sha’ananim, März 2007, ed. by Haim Goren and Jakob Eisler, Jerusalem: Mishkenot Sha’ananim, 2011, pp. 46-62.
‘Imágenes discretas: La exaltación de la Cruz, la corona y la Iglesia en Cataluña y Tierra Santa’, in: Imatges indiscretes, Art i devoció a l'Edat Mitjana, ed. by Rosa Alcoy and Pere Beseran, Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona, 2011, pp. 29-43.
‘The Holy Land Ampulla of Sant Pere de Casserres – A Liturgical and Art-historical Interpretation’, in: Miscel.lània Litúrgica Catalana 15 (2007), 59-86.
‘”By the Grace of God and Historical Right” – The Emperor of Germany as the Patron of a Christian Jerusalem’, in: Image and Sound - Art, Music and History, ed. by Richard I. Cohen, Jerusalem: The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2007, pp. 253-84 (Hebrew).
‘Perception and Action in Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Concept of Jerusalem’, Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Working Paper 44/2005).
‘The Augusta Victoria Hospice on the Mount of Olives and Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Peaceful Crusade’, in: Jahrbuch des Deutschen Evangelischen Instituts für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes 9/10 (2005), 126-147.
Papers and Lectures in relation to topic
Imagining Jerusalem: A Construction and Reconstruction through Visual Narratives, in: international conference ‘Travel in the Nineteenth Century: Narratives, Histories and Collections’, University of Lincoln (7/2011).
El culto de la Santa Cruz en la cultura visual de Tierra Santa y Cataluña, in: ‘Seminari i Conferència de la Societat Catalana d’Estudis Litúrgics’, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona (5/2011).
A (Hi)story of Jerusalem: Memories and Images in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in: international conference ‘Visual Constructs of Jerusalem’, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (11/2010).
In the path of Gustav Kühnel: Constantine and Helena Flanking the Cross at the Time of the Crusades and the Reconquista, in: conference ‘Encounters between East and West’, IMAGO, The Israeli Association for Visual Culture in the Middle Ages, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (5/2010).
Austria in Jerusalem at the Time of Franz Joseph, in: international conference and workshop ‘Annual Meeting of the Centers for Austrian Studies’, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (11/2009).
Imágenes discretas: La exaltación de la Cruz, la corona y la Iglesia en Cataluña y Tierra Santa, in: international conference and seminar ‘Imatges indiscretes, Art i devoció a l'Edat Mitjana’, Grup d’investigació EMAC, University of Barcelona (4/2008).
‘The Holy Land and Europe’, international workshop at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (4-5/2008).
The Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Source of Divine Legitimacy for the German Kaiser, in: ‘Germany in Jerusalem. International Conference on the German Involvement and Activities in the Land of Israel’, The Jerusalem Foundation at Mishkenot Shaananim (3/2007).
The Kingdoms of Crusader Kaiser Wilhelm II, in: international colloquium ‘TheGerman Contribution to Cultural Development in Palestine’, Deutschen Evangelischen Instituts für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes,Jerusalem (3/2005).