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Spirits – airy, volatile ‘subtle bodies' – occupied a central place in early modern European culture. At the edge of the visible and perceptible, spiritus could signify a broad variety of subtle substances, both natural and divine: the vapours moving inside the body, the elements of air and fire, angels, demons and spectres, the Holy Spirit and the human soul. Spirits functioned as intermediaries between two opposite worlds with continually shifting borders. This book investigates specific meanings and uses of spiritus in a variety of early modern disciplines and fields – physiology, psychology, alchemy, theology, demonology, art theory, music theory, novels and the literature on love – thus revisiting the ambivalent history of a central ancient concept in a period of crisis and change.

Contributors include: Wietse de Boer, Sven Dupré, Jennifer Frangos, Axel Christoph Gampp, Christine Göttler, Berthold Hub, Dawn Morgan, Wolfgang Neuber, Bret Rothstein, Rose Marie San Juan, Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann, Justin E. H. Smith, Paul J. Smith, Thijs Weststeijn, and Sarah F. Williams.
The Challenge of World for Early Modern Religious Art
At the turn of the sixteenth century, the notion of world was dramatically being reshaped, leaving no aspect of human experience untouched. The Nomadic Object: The Challenge of World for Early Modern Religious Art examines how sacred art and artefacts responded to the demands of a world stage in the age of reform. Essays by leading scholars explore how religious objects resulting from cross-cultural contact defied national and confessional categories and were re-contextualised in a global framework via their collection, exchange, production, management, and circulation. In dialogue with current discourses, papers address issues of idolatry, translation, materiality, value, and the agency of networks. The Nomadic Object demonstrates the significance of religious systems, from overseas logistics to philosophical underpinnings, for a global art history.

Contributors are: Akira Akiyama, James Clifton, Jeffrey L. Collins, Ralph Dekoninck, Dagmar Eichberger, Beate Fricke, Christine Göttler, Christiane Hille, Margit Kern, Dipti Khera, Yoriko Kobayashi-Sato, Urte Krass, Evonne Levy, Meredith Martin, Walter S. Melion, Mia M. Mochizuki, Jeanette Favrot Peterson, Rose Marie San Juan, Denise-Marie Teece, Tristan Weddigen, and Ines G. Županov.
Spaces, Places, and Times of Solitude in Late Medieval and Early Modern Cultures
This book explores the spatial, material, and affective dimensions of solitude in the late medieval and early modern periods, a hitherto largely neglected topic. Its focus is on the dynamic qualities of “space” and “place”, which are here understood as being shaped, structured, and imbued with meaning through both social and discursive solitary practices such as reading, writing, studying, meditating, and praying. Individual chapters investigate the imageries and imaginaries of outdoor and indoor spaces and places associated with solitude and its practices and examine the ways in which the space of solitude was conceived of, imagined, and represented in the arts and in literature, from about 1300 to about 1800.

Contributors include Oskar Bätschmann, Carla Benzan, Mette Birkedal Bruun, Dominic E. Delarue, Karl A.E. Enenkel, Christine Göttler, Agnès Guiderdoni, Christiane J. Hessler, Walter S. Melion, Raphaèle Preisinger, Bernd Roling, Paul Smith, Marie Theres Stauffer, Arnold A. Witte, and Steffen Zierholz.
Connected Histories of Places, Processes, and Objects in Europe and Beyond, 1450–1650
This book explores the dynamic relationships between sites, peoples, objects, and images during the first age of globalization in early modern Europe. It investigates interactions, interconnections, and entanglements on both micro and macro levels, and aims to understand the specific dynamics of processes of translocal and transcultural intersection. Linking global perspectives with the history of material culture, Sites of Mediation highlights the potential of objects, artefacts, and things to connect (urban) cultures and imaginaries. Individual chapters focus on a number of European cities, which all operated on different levels of global and interregional connections and are presented here as sites of connectivity, encounters, and exchange.

Contributors are: Tina Asmussen, Nadia Baadj, Benedikt Bego-Ghina, Davina Benkert, Daniela Bleichmar, Susanna Burghartz, Lucas Burkart, Christine Göttler, Franziska Hilfiker, Nicolai Kölmel, Ivo Raband, Jennifer Rabe, Antonella Romano, Michael Schaffner, Sarah-Maria Schober, Claudia Swan, and Stefanie Wyssenbach.


Sensation is the subject of a burgeoning field in the humanities. This volume examines its role in the religious changes and transformations of early modern Europe. Sensation was not only central to the doctrinal disputes of the Reformation, but also critical in shaping new or reformed devotional practices. From this vantage point the book explores the intersections between the world of religion and the spheres of art, music, and literature; food and smell; sacred things and spaces; ritual and community; science and medicine. Deployed in varying, often contested ways, the senses were essential pathways to the sacred. They permitted knowledge of the divine and the universe, triggered affective responses, shaped holy environments, and served to heal, guide, or discipline body and soul.

Contributors include Alfred Acres, Barbara Baert, Andrew R. Casper, Wietse de Boer, Sven Dupré, Iain Fenlon, Laura Giannetti, Christine Göttler, Jennifer R. Hammerschmidt, Joseph Imorde, Rachel King, Jennifer Rae McDermott, Walter S. Melion, Matthew Milner, Sarah Joan Moran, Yvonne Petry, and Klaus Pietschmann.
Deutungsmuster vom Altertum bis in die Neuzeit
Naturkatastrophen sind ein spektakuläres Beispiel für die Ambivalenz des Verhältnisses von Natur und Ordnung. Zum einen gilt die Natur als Modell gesellschaftlich-politischer Ordnung, zum anderen als deren Gegenkraft, von der diese ständig bedroht ist. In Katastrophen wie Erdbeben, Sturmfluten oder auch Epidemien wird diese Latenz zu destruktiver Aktualität, deren Übermacht keine Ordnung gewachsen ist. Zugleich wird selbst dieser Zusammenbruch der Ordnung in Ordnungszusammenhänge eingeschrieben. Als göttliches Strafgericht etwa wird die Katastrophe zum Beleg einer der Natur gebietenden Ordnungsmacht, die umso absoluter erscheint, je verwüstender sie sich manifestiert.
Der Band beleuchtet kulturelle Repräsentationen von Naturkatastrophen von der Antike bis in die Neuzeit. Zur Debatte stehen Vorstellungen von göttlicher, natürlicher und politischer Ordnung, die zur Deutung von Katastrophen herangezogen, durch sie bestätigt, in Frage gestellt oder auch unhaltbar werden.
Einundvierzig Einzelstudien widmen sich Synergieeffekten zwischen Bildkulturen von der Spätantike bis ins 20. Jahrhundert. Geographisch behandeln sie westeuropäische Themen ebenso wie solche des Nahen Ostens, des Kaukasus, Süd- und Ostasiens, Afrikas oder der Neuen Welt. Fokussiert werden dabei sowohl kultur- als auch bildanthropologische Gesichtspunkte. Im Rahmen von Mikrogeschichten wird analysiert, wie sich im Zwiegespräch geschaffene Beziehungen im Kunstwerk konkret manifestieren und visualisieren. In den Zwischenräumen von Begegnung entstehen »Energiefelder«, die die Kategorien der Einordnung und des Begreifens ins Schwanken bringen und neue Sichtweisen und Fragen eröffnen.