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Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Religious Art for the Urban Community

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Barbara A. Kaminska

Barbara Kaminska’s Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Religious Art for the Urban Community is the first book-length study focusing on religious paintings by one of the most captivating Netherlandish artists, long celebrated for his secular imagery. In a period marked by a profound religious, economic, and cultural transformation, Bruegel offered his sophisticated urban audience complex biblical images that required an engaged, active viewing, not only sparking learned dinner conversations, but facilitating the negotiation of values seen as critical to maintaining a harmonious society. By considering the novelty of Bruegel’s panels used in convivia alongside his small, intimate grisaille compositions, this study ultimately shows that Bruegel renewed the idiom of religious painting, successfully preserving its ritualistic and meditative functions.

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Diane Apostolos-Cappadona

In Religion and the Arts: History and Method, Diane Apostolos-Cappadona presents an overview of the 19th century origins of this discrete field of study and its methodological journey to the present-day through issues of repatriation, museum exhibitions, and globalization. Apostolos-Cappadona suggests that the fluidity and flexibility of the study of religion and the arts has expanded like an umbrella since the 1970s - and the understanding that art was simply a visual exegesis of texts - to now support the study of material, popular, and visual culture, as well as gender. She also delivers a careful analysis of the evolution of thought from traditional iconographies to the transformations once scholars were influenced by response theory and challenged by globalization and technology. Religion and the Arts: History and Method offers an indispensable introduction to the questions and perspectives essential to the study of this field.

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Edited by Simone Celine Marshall and Carole M. Cusack

In The Medieval Presence in the Modernist Aesthetic: Unattended Moments, editors Simone Celine Marshall and Carole M. Cusack have brought together essays on literary Modernism that uncover medieval themes and tropes that have previously been “unattended”, that is, neglected or ignored. A historical span of a century is covered, from musical modernist Richard Wagner’s final opera Parsifal (1882) to Russell Hoban’s speculative fiction Riddley Walker (1980), and themes of Arthurian literature, scholastic philosophy, Irish legends, classical philology, dream theory, Orthodox theology and textual exegesis are brought into conversation with key Modernist writers, including T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Samuel Beckett, Marcel Proust, W. B. Yeats, Evelyn Waugh and Eugene Ionesco. These scholarly investigations are original, illuminating, and often delightful.

In the Shadow of the Church

The Building of Mosques in Early Medieval Syria

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Mattia Guidetti

In his book In the Shadow of the Church: The Building of Mosques in Early Medieval Syria Mattia Guidetti examines the establishment of Muslim religious architecture within the Christian context in which it first appeared in the Syrian region, contributing to the debate on the transformation of late antique society to a Muslim one. He scrutinizes the slow process of conversion to Islam of the most important town centers by looking at religious places of both communities between the seventh and the eleventh century. The author assesses the relevancy of churches by analyzing the location of mosques and by researching phenomena of transfer of marble material from churches to mosques.

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Edited by Nicholas S.M. Matheou, Theofili Kampianaki and Lorenzo M. Bondioli

From Constantinople to the Frontier: The City and the Cities provides twenty-five articles addressing the concept of centres and peripheries in the late antique and Byzantine worlds, focusing specifically on urban aspects of this paradigm. Spanning from the fourth to thirteenth centuries, and ranging from the later Roman empires to the early Caliphate and medieval New Rome, the chapters reveal the range of factors involved in the dialectic between City, cities, and frontier.
Including contributions on political, social, literary, and artistic history, and covering geographical areas throughout the central and eastern Mediterranean, this volume provides a kaleidoscopic view of how human actions and relationships worked with, within, and between urban spaces and the periphery, and how these spaces and relationships were themselves ideologically constructed and understood.
Contributors are Walter F. Beers, Lorenzo M. Bondioli, Christopher Bonura, Lynton Boshoff, Averil Cameron, Jeremiah Coogan, Robson Della Torre, Pavla Drapelova, Nicholas Evans, David Gyllenhaal, Franka Horvat, Theofili Kampianaki, Maximilian Lau, Valeria Flavia Lovato, Byron MacDougall, Nicholas S.M. Matheou, Daniel Neary, Jonas Nilsson, Cecilia Palombo, Maria Alessia Rossi, Roman Shliakhtin, Sarah C. Simmons, Andrew M. Small, Jakub Sypiański, Vincent Tremblay and Philipp Winterhager.

Apocalyptic Cartography

Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines

In Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript, Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines analyse Huntington Library HM 83, an unstudied manuscript produced in Lübeck, Germany. The manuscript contains a rich collection of world maps produced by an anonymous but strikingly original cartographer. These include one of the earliest programs of thematic maps, and a remarkable series of maps that illustrate the transformations that the world was supposed to undergo during the Apocalypse. The authors supply detailed discussion of the maps and transcriptions and translations of the Latin texts that explain the maps. Copies of the maps in a fifteenth-century manuscript in Wolfenbüttel prove that this unusual work did circulate.

A brief article about this book on the website of National Geographic can be found here.

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Lee Palmer Wandel

Reading Catechisms, Teaching Religion makes two broad arguments. First, the sixteenth century witnessed a fundamental transformation in Christians’, Catholic and Evangelical, conceptualization of the nature of knowledge of Christianity and the media through which that knowledge was articulated and communicated. Christians had shared a sense that knowledge might come through visions, images, liturgy; catechisms taught that knowledge of ‘Christianity’ began with texts printed on a page. Second, codicil catechisms sought not simply to dissolve the material distinction between codex and person, but to teach catechumens to see specific words together as texts. The pages of catechisms were visual—they confound precisely that constructed modern bipolarity, word/image, or, conversely, that modern bipolarity obscures what sixteenth-century catechisms sought to do.

Image and Incarnation

The Early Modern Doctrine of the Pictorial Image

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Edited by Walter Melion and Lee Palmer Wandel

The doctrine of the Incarnation was wellspring and catalyst for theories of images verbal, material, and spiritual. Section I, “Representing the Mystery of the Incarnation”, takes up questions about the representability of the mystery. Section II, “Imago Dei and the Incarnate Word”, investigates how Christ’s status as the image of God was seen to license images material and spiritual. Section III, “Literary Figurations of the Incarnation”, considers the verbal production of images contemplating the divine and human nature of Christ. Section IV, “Tranformative Analogies of Matter and Spirit”, delves into ways that material properties and processes, in their effects on the beholder, were analogized to Christ’s hypostasis. Section V, “Visualizing the Flesh of Christ”, considers the relation between the Incarnation and the Passion.

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Edited by Karl A.E. Enenkel and Anita Traninger

Early modern anger is informed by fundamental paradoxes: qualified as a sin since the Middle Ages, it was still attributed a valuable function in the service of restoring social order; at the same time, the fight against one’s own anger was perceived as exceedingly difficult. And while it was seen as essential for the defence of an individual’s social position, it was at the same time considered a self-destructive force. The contributions in this volume converge in the aim of mapping out the discursive networks in which anger featured and how they all generated their own version, assessment, and semantics of anger. These discourses include philosophy and theology, poetry, medicine, law, political theory, and art.

Contributors: David M. Barbee, Maria Berbara, Tamás Demeter, Jan-Frans van Dijkhuizen, Betül Dilmac, Karl Enenkel, Tilman Haug, Michael Krewet, Johannes F. Lehmann, John Nassichuk, Jan Papy, Christian Peters, Bernd Roling, Paolo Santangelo, Barbara Sasse Tateo, Anita Traninger, Jakob Willis, and Zeynep Yelçe.

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Jennifer Spinks and Dagmar Eichberger

This volume brings together some of the most exciting new scholarship on these themes, and thus pays tribute to the ground-breaking work of Charles Zika. Seventeen interdisciplinary essays offer new insights into the materiality and belief systems of early modern religious cultures as found in artworks, books, fragmentary texts and even in Protestant ‘relics’. Some contributions reassess communal and individual responses to cases of possession, others focus on witchcraft and manifestations of the disordered natural world. Canonical figures and events, from Martin Luther to the Salem witch trials, are looked at afresh. Collectively, these essays demonstrate how cultural and interdisciplinary trends in religious history illuminate the experiences of early modern Europeans.

Contributors: Susan Broomhall, Heather Dalton, Dagmar Eichberger, Peter Howard, E. J. Kent, Brian P. Levack, Dolly MacKinnon, Louise Marshall, Donna Merwick, Leigh T.I. Penman, Shelley Perlove, Lyndal Roper, Peter Sherlock, Larry Silver, Patricia Simons, Jennifer Spinks, Hans de Waardt and Alexandra Walsham.