The Sense of Suffering: Constructions of Physical Pain in Early Modern Culture


The early modern period is a particularly relevant and fascinating chapter in the history of pain. This volume investigates early modern constructions of physical pain from a variety of disciplines, including religious, legal and medical history, literary criticism, philosophy, and art history. The contributors examine how early modern culture interpreted physical pain, as it presented itself for instance during illness, but also analyse the ways in which early moderns employed the idea of physical suffering as a powerful rhetorical tool in debates over other issues, such as the nature of ritual, notions of masculinity, selfhood and community, definitions of religious experience, and the nature of political power.

Contributors include: Emese Bálint, Maria Berbara, Joseph Campana, Andreas Dehmer, Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen, Karl A.E. Enenkel, Lia van Gemert, Frans Willem Korsten, Mary Ann Lund, Jenny Mayhew, Stephen Pender, Michael Schoenfeldt, Kristine Steenbergh, Anne Tilkorn, Jetze Touber, Anita Traninger, and Patrick Vandermeersch.

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Karl A.E. Enenkel is Professor of Neo-Latin Literature at Leiden University, director of the research group "The New Management of Knowledge in the Early Modern Period", funded by the Netherlands Organization for Academic Research (NWO), and member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He has published extensively on international Humanism, the reception of Classical Antiquity, the history of ideas, literary genres and emblem studies.
Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen is lecturer in English literature and research fellow at the University of Leiden. He is the author of Devil Theatre: Demonic Possession and Exorcism in English Renaissance Drama, 1558-1642 (Cambridge: 2007). His current project, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Academic Research (NWO), investigates perceptions of physical pain in early modern England.
"This superb collection is well researched, elegantly edited, and richly illustrated."
Simon Fortin, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Winter 2009).

"a fascinating study" ... "groundbreaking" ... "The Sense of Suffering is perhaps the most ambitious of all existing studies of pain."
Hannah Newton, University of Exeter. In: Medical History, Vol. 54, No. 2 (April 2010), pp. 279-280.

"The Sense of Suffering provides a much-needed examination of pain and its many meanings in early modern Europe."
Olivia Weisser, Princeton University. In: Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 85 (2011), pp. 138-139.
Notes on the Editors
List of Contributors
List of Illustrations

Introduction: Constructions of Physical Pain in Early Modern Culture, Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen & Karl Enenkel

1. Aesthetics and Anesthetics: The Art of Pain Management in Early Modern England, Michael Schoenfeldt
2. Whipping Boys: Erasmus’s Rhetoric of Corporeal Punishment and its Discontents, Anita Traninger
3. Articulating Pain: Martyrology, Torture and Execution in the Works of Antonio Gallonio (1556-1605), Jetze Touber
4. Pain as Persuasion: The Petrarch Master Interpreting Petrarch’s De remediis, Karl A.E. Enenkel
5. Green Wounds: Pain, Anger and Revenge in Early Modern Culture, Kristine Steenbergh
6. Partakers of Pain: Religious Meanings of Pain in Early Modern England, Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen
7. Passio und Compassio: Geisselungsrituale italienischer Bussbruderschaften im späten Mittelalter, Andreas Dehmer
8. Self-Flagellation in the Early Modern Era, Patrick Vandermeersch
9. ‘Esta pena tan sabrosa’: Teresa of Avila and the Figurative Arts in Early Modern Europe, Maria Berbara
10. Godly Beds of Pain: Pain in English Protestant Manuals (ca. 1550-1650), Jenny Mayhew
11. Experiencing Pain in John Donne’s Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624), Mary Ann Lund
12. Reading Bleeding Trees: The Poetics of other People’s Pain in “The Legend of Holiness”, Joseph Campana
13. Bodies in Pain and the Transcendental Organization of History in Joost van den Vondel, Frans Willem Korsten
14. Schmerz hat nichts Gutes: Spinozas Begriff von Tristitia und Dolor, Anne Tilkorn
15. Imagining Physical Pain in a Sixteenth-Century Hungarian Poisoning Trial, Emese Bálint
16. Severing what was Joined Together: Debates about Pain in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic, Lia van Gemert
17. Seeing, Feeling, Judging: Pain in the Early Modern Imagination, Stephen Pender

Index nominum
Interdisciplinary academic readership, interested in the early modern period, especially in the history of pain, the history of medicine, cultural history, the history of religion, literary criticism, art history, history of the body, European reformation, and the History of penal law.
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