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Brepols Publishers
Image and Imagination of the Religious Self in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Image and Imagination of the Religious Self in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe


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One of the central and defining beliefs in late-medieval and early-modern spirituality was the notion of the formability of the religious self. Identified with the soul, the self was conceived, indeed experienced, not as an abstraction, but rather as an essential spiritual persona, as well as the intellectual and sensory center of a human being. This volume investigates the role played by images construed as formal and semantic variables - mental images, visual tropes and figures, pictorial and textual representations - in generating and sustaining processes of meditation that led the viewer or reader from outward perception to various forms of inward perception and spiritual discernment. The fifteen articles address the history of the soul as a cultural construct, an internal locus of self-formation where the divine is seen to dwell and the person may experience her/himself as a place inhabited by the spirit of God. Three central questions are approached from various disciplines: first, how was the self-contained soul created in God's likeness, yet stained by sin and as such susceptible both to destructive and redemptive forces, refashioned as a porous and malleable entity susceptible to metaphysical effects and human practices, such as self-investigation, meditative prayer, and other techniques of inwardness? Second, how did such practices constitutive of an inner liturgy prepare the soul - the anima, bride - for an encounter with God that trains, purifies, moulds, shapes, and transforms the religious self? Finally, in this process of self-reformation, how were images of place and space mobilized, how were loci found, and how did the soul come to see itself situated within these places mapped upon itself?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9782503520681
Publisher: Brepols Publishers
Publication date: 04/28/2008
Series: Proteus Series , #1
Pages: 515
Product dimensions: 6.47(w) x 9.68(h) x 1.29(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     ix
List of Illustrations     xi
Foreword     xxix
Introduction: Meditative Images and the Psychology of Soul   Walter S. Melion     1
Authenticity and Fiction: On the Pictorial Construction of Inner Presence in Early Modern Italy   Klaus Kruger     37
Shaping the Self in the Image of Virtue: Francesco da Barberino's I Documenti d'Amore   Shelley Maclaren     71
Black Holes in Bosch: Visual Typology in the Garden of Earthly Delights   Reindert L. Falkenburg     105
Discernment and Animation, Leonardo to Lamazzo   Michael Cole     133
Sleep of the Flesh: The Agony of the Visible at the Limits of the Frame in the Iconography of the Prayer of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane   Pierre-Antoine Fabre     163
The Body of Christ at Marburg, 1529   Lee Palmer Wandel     195
Taverns and the Self at the Dawn of the Reformation   Christopher Ocker     215
The Rule of Metaphor and the Play of the Viewer in the Hours of Mary of Burgundy   Bret Rothstein     237
To See Yourself Within It: Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Festival of Fools   Todd M. Richardson     277
'Planting Seeds of Righteousness', Taming the Wilderness of the Soul: Geertgen tot Sint Jans's St John the Baptist inthe Wilderness   John Decker     307
Monastic Hospitality: The Cloister as Heart in Early Netherlandish Painting   Henry Luttikhuizen     329
Crafting Repose: Aesthetic and Cultural Aspects of the Hermitage Landscape by Jan Brueghel the Elder   Leopoldine Prosperetti     351
The Meditative Function of Hendrick Goltzius's Life of the Virgin of 1593-94   Walter S. Melion     379
Rubens's 'Ecce Homo' and 'Derision of Silenus': Classical Antiquity, Images of Devotion, and the Ostentation of Art   Christine Gottler     427

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