The scientific debates on border crossings and cultural exchange between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have much increased over the last decades. Within this context, however, little attention has been given to the biblical Exodus, which not only plays a pivotal role in the Abrahamic religions, but also is a master narrative of a border crossing in itself. Sea and desert are spaces of liminality and transit in more than just a geographical sense. Their passage includes a transition to freedom and initiation into a new divine community, an encounter with God and an entry into the Age of law. The volume gathers twelve articles written by leading specialists in Jewish and Islamic Studies, Theology and Literature, Art and Film history, dedicated to the transitional aspects within the Exodus narrative. Bringing these studies together, the volume takes a double approach, one that is both comparative and intercultural. How do Jewish, Christian and Islamic texts and images read and retell the various border crossings in the Exodus story, and on what levels do they interrelate? By raising these questions the volume aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of contact points between the various traditions.
Annette Hoffmann, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Italy.