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Margery Kempe (c.1373 – c.1438), the Jews, and the Northern Jerusalem

Event Date & Time: 13th June, 2013 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Location: Birkbeck, University of London, Clore Lecture Theatre, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7JL
Speakers: Professor Anthony Bale, Birkbeck, University of London
People Mentioned: Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe
Theme: Christianity, Jews, history of, Judaism
Region / Country: Europe, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, UK
Historical Period: 15th century and earlier


Margery Kempe was a fifteenth-century mystic, mother, wife, pilgrim, and controversialist, from the town of Lynn in Norfolk. Kempe roamed widely around Europe and the Middle East, including a visit to Jerusalem and the holy sites of Palestine. She left a long written account, known as The Book of Margery Kempe, detailing her travels and travails. In this lecture, Professor Bale, who is currently preparing a new translation of The Book of Margery Kempe, will consider Kempe’s representation of Jews and Judaism alongside her descriptions of the Holy Land. Bale’s lecture will explore the religious and cultural background of Kempe’s writing, and will locate Kempe in terms of other late medieval writers and pilgrims, particularly in terms of the translation of Jerusalem from the Middle East to northern Europe.

Introduced by: Professor David Latchman CBE, Master, Birkbeck, University of London.

Vote of thanks: Professor Hilary Fraser, Executive Dean, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London.

A drinks reception will follow the lecture.


Margery Kempe (c.1373 - c.1438), the Jews, and the Northern Jerusalem

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The Pears Institute explores the pattern of antisemitism both today and in the past. We connect research on antisemitism to the wider study of racialization and intolerance.

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