Sacred Skin offers the first systematic evaluation of the dissemination and development of the cult of St. Bartholomew in Spain. Exploring the paradoxes of hagiographic representation and their ambivalent effect on the observer, the book focuses on literary and visual testimonies produced from the emergence of a distinctive vernacular voice through to the formalization of Bartholomew’s saintly identity and his transformation into a key expression of Iberian consciousness. Drawing on and extending advances in cultural criticism, particularly theories of selfhood and the complex ontology of the human body, its five chapters probe the evolution of hagiographic conventions, demonstrating how flaying poses a unique challenge to our understanding of the nature and meaning of identity.
The Transformations of Tragedy: Christian Influences from Early Modern to Modern explores the influence of Christian theology and culture upon the development of post-classical Western tragedy. The volume is divided into three parts: early modern, modern, and contemporary. This series of essays by established and emergent scholars offers a sustained study of Christianity’s creative influence upon experimental forms of Western tragic drama.
Both early modern and modern tragedy emerged within periods of remarkable upheaval in Church history, yet Christianity’s diverse influence upon tragedy has too often been either ignored or denounced by major tragic theorists. This book contends instead that the history of tragedy cannot be sufficiently theorised without fully registering the impact of Christianity in transition towards modernity.
Religion and literature is the study of interrelationships between religious or theological traditions and literary traditions, both oral and written, with special attention to religious or theological underpinnings of, influences upon, and reflections in, individual “texts” (oral and written) or authors’ oeuvres. This overview considers the origins and history of, and methods employed in, that scholarly enterprise, focusing upon the dual construals of “literature” in religious studies (as a body of sacred writings and as writing valued for artistic merit); the problematics of defining “religion”; the transformation of theology and literature as a “field” (pioneered by Nathan A. Scott Jr. et al.) to religion and literature; the affiliated fields of myth criticism, and of biblical reception; and the institutionalization, globalization, and future of the study of religion and literature.
This article analyzes the late Maurice Sendak’s (1928–2012) entry into the field of children’s picture books in the midtwentieth century and his contribution to the affective shift in children’s literature. It examines Sendak’s complex social position and artistic development in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as lesser-known illustrations by Sendak, including collaborations with Ruth Krauss and with the artist’s brother, Jack. These works began to respond to Sendak’s own childhood as a queer son of Eastern European Yiddish-speaking immigrants. They also offered new potential mirrors for midcentury children—perhaps especially queer and otherwise marginalized children—as they navigated cultural gaps between home and the public sphere, as well as between personal orientations and the social pressures of postwar America.
The present article investigates the visual elements of the illustrated youth quarterly L’Illustration Juive, which was published in Alexandria between 1929 and 1931 in French and Hebrew. The analysis sets out to expose the ideologies and worldviews informing the publication’s editorial board, as well as the conscious or unconscious message that the quarterly tried to communicate to its young readership. The article explores more than 300 photographs and reproductions that featured in twelve issues published over the journal’s three years of existence. Analysis of the visual elements in this article shows that the quarterly featured many photographs of holy sites in the Land of Israel, as well as reproductions of artworks that reflected the religious Jewish way of life in the diaspora and Israel, including the Jewish calendar and Jewish life cycle. These works hold the Old Testament as a key book for Judaism, as well as for Jewish nationalism. Clearly evident in the visual elements, as in the overall visual messages of the quarterly, is the harmony struck between Jewish nationality, Zionism, and a religious Jewish cultural—or diasporic—world. It was this harmonious view that editor Rabbi David Prato sought to convey, upholding as he did a religious nationalist Jewish future, which he defined in the newspaper as a double tendance.
This article offers an alternative reading of Martin Buber (1878–1956), one guided by his writings on craft and artistic creation. Rather than view Buber as a philosopher of dialogue, it views him as a philosopher of relationships, including relationships to nonhuman things. His writings on craft and artistic creation are taken to exemplify these nonhuman relationships. After sketching out the general structure of Buber’s thought, and the role that nonhuman relationships play in it, this article traces a trajectory through Buber’s work, showing the ever-increasing importance of these relationships through an analysis of his treatments of art and craft. It ends with an analysis of his late anthropological work on craft and images, which demonstrates that this was a longstanding, if not central, concern of Buber’s that guided not only his treatment of material things, but his understanding of Judaism as well.