Javier Del Barco

Javier Del Barco
pas labex
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

19/02/2017 - 13/07/2018


Sciences de la religion

Fonction d’origine

Chargé de recherche

Institution d’origine

Département d'études juives et islamiques, ILC-CSIC (Espagne)

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Redefining the Sacred Book: Forms, Functions and Meanings of the Late Medieval Hebrew Bible in the Western Mediterranean

How did the Hebrew Bible look like in the late Middle Ages? What does the diversity of forms of Hebrew Bible manuscripts mean? How did liturgical, educational and devotional practices shape Hebrew Bible’s forms? What are the functions and meanings related to this diversity of forms? And more importantly, how did Hebrew manuscript culture relate with Latin and Arabic manuscript cultures in the Latin West and the Western Mediterranean, and how did this relation impact in the production of Hebrew Bibles? This project attempts to answer these questions by proposing a new approach to the codices of the Hebrew Bible in the late Middle Ages, on the basis of an analysis of formal, functional, and contextual aspects. I will therefore attempt to redefine the concept of what the Hebrew Bible was in the late Middle Ages in a way that transcends linear, monolithic, and decontextualized meanings of the term and to contribute to an understanding of the cultural meanings constructed around the production, use, and transmission of the Hebrew Bible in late medieval Western Europe.



Javier del Barco (Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies from Universidad Complutense, Madrid) is Senior Research Fellow at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). He has specialized in medieval Hebrew manuscript culture, and his research focuses in questions such as the study and interpretation of the manuscript as a historical and cultural object; the relation between the object and the text; practices of reading, using and collecting manuscripts; and Hebrew book transmission and circulation. He has published several articles in Hebrew manuscript studies, has catalogued several collections of Hebrew manuscripts in Spain and participates in the team cataloguing the Hebrew manuscripts of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.