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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.
Author: Ira Livingston
Magic Science Religion explores surprising intersections among the three meaning-making and world-making practices named in the title. Through colorful examples, the book reveals circuitous ways that social, cultural and natural systems connect, enabling real kinds of magic to operate. Among the many case studies are accounts of how an eighteenth-century actor gave his audience goosebumps; how painters, poets, and pool sharks use nonlinearity in working their magics; how the first vertebrates gained consciousness; how plants fine-tuned human color vision; and the necessarily magical element of activism that builds on the conviction that "another future is possible" while working to push self-fulfilling prophecy into political action.
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.

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.
The two-volume Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages offers an accessible yet engaging coverage of medieval European history and culture, c. 500-c. 1500, in a series of themed articles, taking an interdisciplinary and comparative approach. Presenting a broad range of topics current in research, the encyclopedia is dedicated to all aspects of medieval life, organized in eight sections: Society; Faith and Knowledge; Literature; Fine Arts and Music; Economy; Technology; Living Environments and Conditions; and Constitutive Historical Events and Regions. This thematic structure makes the encyclopedia a true reference work for Medieval Studies as a whole. It is accessible and concise enough for quick reference, while also providing a solid grounding in a new topic with a good level of detail, since many of its articles are longer than traditional encyclopedia entries. The encyclopedia is supported by an extensive bibliography, updated with the most recent works and adapted to suit the needs of an Anglophone audience.

Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages is a unique work, and invaluable equally for research and for teaching. Anyone interested in the art, architecture, economy, history, language, law, literature, music, religion, or science of the Middle Ages, will find the encyclopedia an indispensable resource.

This is an English translation of the second edition (2013) of the well-known German-language Enzyklopädie des Mittelalters, published by Primus Verlag / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

Also available online as part of Brill's Medieval Reference Library Online.
The Building of Mosques in Early Medieval Syria
Author: 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.
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.
Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript
Authors: 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.
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.
The Early Modern Doctrine of the Pictorial Image
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.