Shoes are an integral part of Jewish material culture. Although they appear in some of the most foundational Biblical stories, they are generally regarded as no more than lowly, albeit essential, accessories.
Jews and Shoes takes a fresh look at the makings and meanings of shoes, cobblers and barefootedness in Jewish experience. The book shows how shoes convey theological, social and economic concepts, and as such are intriguing subjects for inquiry within a wide range of cultural, artistic and historic contexts.
The book's multidisciplinary approach encompasses a wide range of contributions from disciplines as diverse as fashion, visual culture, history, anthropology, Bible, Talmud and performance studies. Jews and Shoes will appeal to students, scholars and general readers alike who are interested to find out more about the practical and symbolic significance of shoes in Jewish culture since antiquity.
Edna Nahshon is Associate Professor of Hebrew at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Senior Associate, Centre of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford University.