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Quid est sacramentum?

Visual Representation of Sacred Mysteries in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1700’

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Edited by Walter Melion, Elizabeth Carson Pastan and Lee Palmer Wandel

‘Quid est sacramentum?’ Visual Representation of Sacred Mysteries in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1700 investigates how sacred mysteries (in Latin, sacramenta or mysteria) were visualized in a wide range of media, including illustrated religious literature such as catechisms, prayerbooks, meditative treatises, and emblem books, produced in Italy, France, and the Low Countries between ca. 1500 and 1700. The contributors ask why the mysteries of faith and, in particular, sacramental mysteries were construed as amenable to processes of representation and figuration, and why the resultant images were thought capable of engaging mortal eyes, minds, and hearts. Mysteries by their very nature appeal to the spirit, rather than to sense or reason, since they operate beyond the limitations of the human faculties; and yet, the visual and literary arts served as vehicles for the dissemination of these mysteries and for prompting reflection upon them.

Contributors include: David Areford, AnnMarie Micikas Bridges, Mette Birkedal Bruun, James Clifton, Anna Dlabačková, Wim François, Robert Kendrick, Aiden Kumler, Noria Litaker, Walter S. Melion, Lars Cyril Nørgaard, Elizabeth Pastan, Donna Sadler, Alexa Sand, Tanya Tiffany, Lee Palmer Wandel, Geert Warner, Bronwen Wilson, and Elliott Wise.

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Bogdan Gabriel Bucur

Scripture Re-envisioned discusses the christological exegesis of biblical theophanies and argues its crucial importance for the appropriation of the Hebrew Bible as the Christian Old Testament. The Emmaus episode in Luke 24 and its history of interpretation serve as the methodological and hermeneutical prolegomenon to the early Christian exegesis of theophanies. Subsequent chapters discuss the reception history of Genesis 18; Exodus 3 and 33; Psalm 98/99 and 131/132; Isaiah 6; Habakkuk 3:2 (LXX); Daniel 3 and 7. Bucur shows that the earliest, most widespread and enduring reading of these biblical texts, namely their interpretation as "christophanies"— manifestations of the Logos-to-be-incarnate—constitutes a robust and versatile exegetical tradition, which lent itself to doctrinal reflection, apologetics, polemics, liturgical anamnesis and doxology