The religious upheavals of the early modern period and the fierce debate they unleashed about true devotion gave conversion an unprecedented urgency. With their rich variety of emotive, aesthetic and rhetoric means of expression, literature and the visual arts proved particularly well-adapted means to address, explore and represent the complex nature of conversion. At the same time, many artists and authors experimented with the notion that the expressive character of their work could cultivate a sensory experience for the viewer that enacted conversion. Indeed, focusing on conversion as one of early modern Europe’s most pressing religious issues, this volume demonstrates that conversion cannot be separated from the creative and spiritual ways in which it was given meaning.
Contributors include Mathilde Bernard, John R. Decker, Xander van Eck, Shulamit Furstenberg-Levi, Lise Gosseye, Chloë Houston, Philip Major, Walter Melion, Bart Ramakers, E. Natalie Rothman, Alison Searle, Lieke Stelling, Jayme Yeo, and Federico Zuliani.
Lieke Stelling is a junior researcher at the University of Leiden. Her PhD thesis, which focuses on representations of religious conversion in early modern English drama, will be completed in the course of 2012. She has published essays on the work of Shakespeare and Massinger; an article on the Nachleben of St. Augustine’s conversion is due to appear in 2012.
Harald Hendrix, PhD (1993) in Italian Studies, is full professor and chair of Italian Studies and head of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Utrecht. He has published widely on the European reception of Italian Renaissance and Baroque culture, on the early modern aesthetics of the non-beautiful as well as on literary culture and memory. Amongst his recent publications is the edited volume Writers' Houses and the Making of Memory (2007).
Todd M. Richardson, Ph.D. (2007) in Art History, is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis. He is the author of Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Art Discourse in the Sixteenth-Century Netherlands (2011) and the co-editor of two volumes: The Transformation of Vernacular Expression in Early Modern Art (2011) and Image and Imagination of the Religious Self in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (2008).
‘’This stimulating collection of essays, published in Brill’s series Intersections: Interdisciplinary Studies in Early Modern Culture, exemplifies the virtues of intersectionality and interdisciplinarity. This is particularly appropriate for a volume on conversion: a multifarious phenomenon that, as the volume’s editors remind us, raises questions of theology, ecclesiology, psychology, politics, aesthetics, and gender.’’
Molly Murray, Columbia University. In:
Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3, Fall 2014, p. 960.
Table of contents
Notes on the Editors
List of Contributors
List of Illustrations
LIEKE STELLING AND TODD M. RICHARDSON
PART ONE — AUTHENTICITY
La Confession Catholique du Sieur de Sancy: The Swan Song of the Zealous Protestants
'The Conversion of Christian II of Denmark in Roman Catholic Diplomatic Literature, 1530-1532
‘Thy Very Essence is Mutability’: Religious Conversion in Early Modern English
Turning Persia: The Prospect of Conversion in Safavid Iran
Narrating Conversion and Subjecthood in the Venetian-Ottoman Borderlands
E. NATALIE ROTHMAN
PART TWO - AGENCY
‘Most necessarily to be knowne’: The Conversion Narratives of Samuel Smith
Converting England: Mysticism, Nationalism, and Symbolism in the Poetry of John Donne
JAYME M. YEO
Conversion in James Shirley’s St Patrick for Ireland (1640)
Salutary Reading: Conversion and Calvinist Humanism in Constantijn Huygens’ Ooghentroost
PART THREE — IMITATION
Between Conversion and Apostasy: Moriens’s Struggle and the Fate of the Soul
JOHN R. DECKER
The Sermons of a Rabbi Converted to Christianity: Between Synagogue and Church
Parabolic Analogy and Spiritual Discernment in Jéronimo Nadal’s Adnotationes et meditationes in Evangelia of 1595
WALTER S. MELION
Sight and insight: Paul as a Model of Conversion in Rhetoricians’ Drama
Rhetorics of the Pulpit
XANDER VAN ECK
All those interested in early modern Europe, intellectual and political history, Renaissance art history, drama, and literature, theology and religious studies