Religion and the Senses in Early Modern Europe

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.

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Wietse de Boer, Ph.D. (Erasmus University Rotterdam, 1995) is Professor of History at Miami University. Most of his publications are on the Italian Counter-Reformation, including The Conquest of the Soul: Confession, Discipline, and Public Order in Counter-Reformation Milan (Brill, 2001).

Christine Göttler, Ph.D. (University of Zürich, 1991) is Professor of Art History at the University of Bern. Her main research interests concern the intersections of art, religion, and science in early modern Europe, particularly the Netherlands and Italy.

Contributors include: Alfred Acres, Barbara Baert, Wietse de Boer, Andrew R. Casper, 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.
Acknowledgements
Notes on the Editors
Notes on the Contributors
List of Illustrations

Introduction: The Sacred and the Senses in an Age of Reform
WIETSE DE BOER and CHRISTINE GÖTTLER

I. PATHWAYS TO THE DIVINE: VISION
Insinuating the Cross: Sight, Suggestion, and Self in Renaissance Painting
ALFRED ACRES

Display and Devotion: Exhibiting Icons and their Copies in Counter-Reformation Italy
ANDREW R. CASPER

‘In sensus cadentem imaginem’: Varieties of the Spiritual Image in Theodoor Galle’s Life of Blessed Father Ignatius of Loyola of 1610
WALTER S. MELION


II. PATHWAYS TO THE DIVINE: THE LOWER SENSES

‘An Odour. A Taste. A Touch. Impossible To Describe’: Noli me tangere and the Senses
BARBARA BAERT

‘The Beads with Which We Pray Are Made from It’: Devotional Ambers in Early Modern Italy
RACHEL KING

‘The Melodie of Heaven’: Sermonizing The Open Ear In Early Modern England
JENNIFER RAE MCDERMOTT


III. SENSES AND AFFECTS

Beyond Vision: The Impact of Rogier van der Weyden’s Descent from the Cross
JENNIFER R. HAMMERSCHMIDT

‘A cui ne fece dono’: Art, Exchange, and Sensory Engagement in Anthony van Dyck’s Lamentation for the Antwerp Beguines
SARAH JOAN MORAN

Tasting God: The Sweetness of Crying in the Counter-Reformation
JOSEPH IMORDE


IV. THE SENSES CONTESTED

The Sense of Hearing Politicized: Liturgical Polyphony and Political Ambition in Fifteenth-Century Florence
KLAUS PIETSCHMANN

Of Eels and Pears: A Sixteenth-Century Debate on Taste, Temperance, and the Pleasures of the Senses
LAURA GIANNETTI

To Captivate the Senses: Sensory Governance, Heresy, and Idolatry in Mid-Tudor England
MATTHEW MILNER


V. SENSORY ENVIRONMENTS

Piazza San Marco: Theatre of the Senses, Market Place of the World
IAIN FENLON

A Neapolitan Heaven: The Sensory Universe of G.B. Giustiniani
WIETSE DE BOER

The Temptation of the Senses at the Sacro Monte di Varallo
CHRISTINE GÖTTLER


VI. SENSES, SCIENCE, AND THE SACRED

Vision, Medicine, and Magic: Bewitchment and Lovesickness
in Jacques Grevin’s Deux livres des venins (1568)
YVONNE PETRY

The Return of the Species: Jesuit Responses to Kepler’s New Theory of Images
SVEN DUPRÉ


Index Nominum
All those interested in European cultural history of the Reformation era, including the history of religion, art and architecture, music, literature, food, medicine, and science.