Personal profile

Research interests

Prof. Nirit Ben Aryeh Debby is a high- profile scientist and very prolific author. She has written five books (four were translated to Italian) and edited two books within the last twenty years and more than fifty articles, which focus on Renaissance Italy and deal with the relation of figurative arts, preaching and religion. Her originality lies in her interdisciplinary approach combining between art history and religious studies. Recently her studies garner interest across the historical, literary, and art-historical fields in the increasingly active area of Early Modern global studies.


Prof. Nirit Ben Aryeh-Debby published all her studies on art and preaching in highly reputable scholarly journals and by highly reputable publishers. She speaks on her findings at scholarly conferences and symposia, and publishes her oral presentations in books, whose topics closely relate to her interest and focused research on the interrelationship between word and image in religious texts and works of art.


She has unconventional knowledge in various disciplines including proficiency in Italian and Latin, an ability to read and analyze the texts of sermons and religious plays, an art historical approach and expertise in dealing with visual images.


She has written several highly successful books: Renaissance Florence in the Rhetoric of Two Popular Preachers: Giovanni Dominici (1356–1419) and Bernardino da Siena (1380– 1444) (Turnhout, 2001), which focuses on the historical research of Dominican and Franciscan preachers, analyzes literary sources, particularly sermons, and includes an extensive critical analysis of an unpublished manuscript of mendicant sermons; The Renaissance Pulpit: Art and Preaching in Italy, 1400–1550 (Turnhout, 2007), which addresses visual material and examines the relationship between preaching and art in an interdisciplinary approach, including studies in art history, historical analysis, and sermon studies. (Also published in Italian); The Cult of St. Clare of Assisi in Early Modern Italy (Ashgate, 2014), which deals with the cult of a female saint in a Franciscan context as revealed in images and sermons. (Also published in Paper back and in Italian); Crusade Propaganda in Word and Image in Early Modern Italy: Niccolò Guidalotto’s Panorama of Constantinople (Toronto, 1662), which includes analyses of manuscripts and visual images. (Also published in Italian). 


Prof. Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby has supervised 3 post- doctoral students, 17 doctoral students many of whom received prestigious grants as the Rotenshtreich or the Negev grants and who some of them received academic positions as Dr. Ronit Milano, and 17 Master students


She has lectured in numerous conferences as a plenary speaker as in Brown University in 2019

(see detailed list in the attached CV) and have organized several workshops as for example, 2015           ISF- Israel Science Foundation, Ben-Aryeh Debby N. (PI) and Kogman-Appel K. (PI), Subject: Maps and Travel: Knowledge, Imagination and Visual Culture, Workshop Grant, Annual amount: 25,000$



Prof. Nirit Ben Aryeh Debby’s major contribution to Renaissance studies is suggesting the connections between art and preaching in innovative studies and breaking the boundaries between historical and art historical studies. She conducts cutting edge research on the interrelations between word and image, preaching and the arts in Renaissance Italy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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