||Ecclesia and Synagoga at
the double-portal of the south entrance to the Strasbourg cathedral (around 1230)
Here both, the Church and the Synagogue, are symbolized as
related to each other in the sense of the concordia veteris et novi testamenti, the
unity of the Old and New Testaments. Both figures are of noble character. However, the
Church is depicted as triumphant with crown and imperial robe on her shoulders, with staff
and chalice in her hands, symbolizing her divine authority. She looks ahead assured of her
mission in the world. The Synagogue is symbolized as defeated, her staff broken more than
once, the Torah is slipping from her hands, a veil is covering her eyes and her head is
Wood carving at the choir benches of the Erfurt cathedral, Thuringia, Germany (about
Ecclesia on a horse is attacking the Synagogue
with a lance. Her shield carries the Christian symbol of a fish. The Synagogue is symbolized
as riding a pig. Her eyes are closed and with her left hand she holds on to a branch. One of
many depictions of the "Judensau" in the art work of European churches.
window of St. John's Church in Werben/ Elbe River, Germany (around 1414-1467)
In the left section of the window the Church is riding a
tetramorph (a creature with the heads of eagle, human, lion and bull, symbolizing the four
Gospels). She holds the flag of the cross and the chalice in her hands. The divine hand from
heaven places a crown on her head.
In the right section the Synagogue is depicted as riding a
donkey which is about to break down. In her right hand she holds the head of a he-goat. Her
crown is falling. She is blindfolded. The staff of her flag is broken. But worst of all, the
divine hand from heaven pierces her head and body with the sword of judgment.
Berlin, Aufbau Verlag; Martin Dettloff