Senses of Touch: Human Dignity and Deformity from Michelangelo to Calvin

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Senses of Touch anatomizes the uniquely human hand as a rhetorical figure for dignity and deformity in early modern culture. It concerns a valuational shift from the contemplative ideal, as signified by the sense of sight, to an active reality, as signified by the sense of touch. From posture to piety, from manicure to magic, the book discovers touch in a critical period of its historical development, in anatomy and society.
It features new interpretations of two landmarks of western civilization: Michelangelo's fresco of the Creation of Adam and Calvin's doctrine of election. It also accords special attention to the typing of women as sensual creatures by using their hands as a heuristic.
Its alternative interpretations explore in theory and in practice the sensuality, the creativity, and the plain utility of hands, thus integrating biology and culture.

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Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle, Ph.D., is a cultural historian, specializing in the sixteenth century. This is her seventh book. Another title with Brill is Divine Domesticity: Augustine of Thagaste to Teresa of Avila (Brill, 1997).
All those interested in Cultural history, both Renaissance and Reformation; history of medicine; history of art; history of law; women's studies; religion and philosophy; anthropology.
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