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Series:

Hannah W. Matis

In The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Hannah W. Matis examines how the Song of Songs, the collection of Hebrew love poetry, was understood in the Latin West as an allegory of Christ and the church. This reading of the biblical text was passed down via the patristic tradition, established by the Venerable Bede, and promoted by the chief architects of the Carolingian reform. Throughout the ninth century, the Song of Songs became a text that Carolingian churchmen used to think about the nature of Christ and to conceptualize their own roles and duties within the church. This study examines the many different ways that the Song of Songs was read within its early medieval historical context.

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Edited by Siam Bhayro and Catherine Rider

In many near eastern traditions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, demons have appeared as a cause of illness from ancient times until at least the early modern period. This volume explores the relationship between demons, illness and treatment comparatively. Its twenty chapters range from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt to early modern Europe, and include studies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They discuss the relationship between ‘demonic’ illnesses and wider ideas about illness, medicine, magic, and the supernatural. A further theme of the volume is the value of treating a wide variety of periods and places, using a comparative approach, and this is highlighted particularly in the volume’s Introduction and Afterword. The chapters originated in an international conference held in 2013.

Tetragrammaton: Western Christians and the Hebrew Name of God

From the Beginnings to the Seventeenth Century

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Robert J. Wilkinson

The Christian Reception of the Hebrew name of God has not previously been described in such detail and over such an extended period. This work places that varied reception within the context of early Jewish and Christian texts; Patristic Studies; Jewish-Christian relationships; Mediaeval thought; the Renaissance and Reformation; the History of Printing; and the development of Christian Hebraism.
The contribution of notions of the Tetragrammaton to orthodox doctrines and debates is exposed, as is the contribution its study made to non-orthodox imaginative constructs and theologies. Gnostic, Kabbalistic, Hermetic and magical texts are given equally detailed consideration.
There emerge from this sustained and detailed examination several recurring themes concerning the difficulty of naming God, his being and his providence.

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Edited by Giuseppe Marcocci, Aliocha Maldavsky, Wietse de Boer and Ilaria Pavan

Space and Conversion in Global Perspective examines experiences of conversion as they intersect with physical location, mobility, and interiority. The volume’s innovative approach is global and encompasses multiple religious traditions. Conversion emerges as a powerful force in early modern globalization.

In thirteen essays, the book ranges from the urban settings of Granada and Cuzco to mission stations in Latin America and South India; from villages in Ottoman Palestine and Middle-Volga Russia to Italian hospitals and city squares; and from Atlantic slave ships to the inner life of a Muslim turned Jesuit. Drawing on extensive archival and iconographic materials, this collection invites scholars to rethink conversion in light of the spatial turn.

Contributors are: Paolo Aranha, Emanuele Colombo, Irene Fosi, Mercedes García-Arenal, Agnieszka Jagodzińska, Aliocha Maldavsky, Giuseppe Marcocci, Susana Bastos Mateus, Adriano Prosperi, Gabriela Ramos, Rocco Sacconaghi, Felicita Tramontana, Guillermo Wilde, and Oxana Zemtsova.

The Ten Commandments

Interpreting the Bible in the Medieval World

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Lesley J. Smith

What did the ten commandments have to teach? Using the commentaries of a group of scholars from c. 1150-1350, such as Peter Lombard, Robert Grosseteste, and Bonaventure, along with confessors’ manuals, mystery plays and sermon material, this book investigates the place of the Decalogue in medieval thought. Beginning with the overarching themes of law and number, it moves to consider what sort of God is revealed in the commandments of the first stone tablet, and uncovers the structure that lay behind the precepts dealing with one’s neighbour. Interpreting the commandments allows us to look at issues of method and individuality in the medieval schools, and ask whether answers intended for the classroom could make an impression on the wider world.

The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews 

Jesuits of Jewish Ancestry and Purity-of-Blood Laws in the Early Society of Jesus

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Robert Maryks

In The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews the author explains how Christians with Jewish family backgrounds went within less than forty years from having a leading role in the foundation of the Society of Jesus to being prohibited from membership in it. The author works at the intersection to two important historical topics, each of which attracts considerable scholarly attention but that have never received sustained and careful attention together, namely, the early modern histories of the Jesuit order and of Iberian “purity of blood” concerns.
An analysis of the pro- and anti-converso texts in this book (both in terms of what they are claiming and what their limits are) advance our understanding of early modern, institutional Catholicism at the intersection of early modern religious reform and the new racism developing in Spain and spreading outwards.