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Touching, Devotional Practices, and Visionary Experience in the Late Middle Ages

Editors: Carrillo-Rangel, David, Nieto-Isabel, Delfi I., Acosta-García, Pablo (Eds.)

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  • Explores the importance of the senses in relation to affective piety in Late Medieval Christianity, focusing on the sense of touch
  • Brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to explore a variety of devotional practices, using a range of sources: manuscripts, works of devotional literature, art and judicial records
  • Considers how the sense of touch was related to medieval theories of perception
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About this book

This book addresses the history of the senses in relation to affective piety and its role in devotional practices in the late Middle Ages, focusing on the sense of touch. It argues that only by deeply analysing this specific context of perception can the full significance of sensory religious experience in the Late Middle Ages be understood. Considering the centrality of the body to medieval society and Christianity, this collection explores a range of devotional practices, mainly relating to the Passion of Christ, and features manuscripts, works of devotional literature, art, woodcuts and judicial records. It brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to offer a variety of methodological approaches, in order to understand how touch was encoded, evoked and purposefully used. The book further considers how touch was related to the medieval theory of perception, examining its relation to the inner and outer senses through the eyes of visionaries, mystics, theologians and confessors, not only as praxis but from different theoretical points of view. While considered the most basic of spiritual experience, the chapters in this book highlight the all-pervasive presence of touch and the significance of ‘affective piety’ to Late Medieval Christians.

Chapter 3: Drama, Performance and Touch in the Medieval Convent and Beyond is Open Access under a CC BY 4.0 license at link.springer.com 

About the authors

David Carrillo-Rangel is a PhD Fellow at the University of Bergen, Norway. He co-edited the volume Sensual and Sensory Experiences in the Middle Ages (2017).

Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel is an Associate Researcher at the Institute for Research on Medieval Cultures (IRCVM) at the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Pablo Acosta-García is a Marie Curie Fellow at Heinrich-Heine-Düsseldorf-University, Germany, with the project Late Medieval Visionary Women’s Impact in Early Modern Castilian Spiritual Tradition (WIMPACT).


Reviews

“The authors of Touching, Devotional Practices, and Visionary Experiences have come together to produce a very impressive piece of work that advances the study of embodiment in medieval Christianity while also offering scholars of material religion in any historical period and place a critically-minded resource. This is a deeply learned, enormously suggestive book that merits wide attention.” (David Morgan, Duke University, USA)

“This collection, which is refreshingly coherent in both its aims and structure, employs new critical perspectives that recognise the intrinsic importance of the sense of touch in its medieval devotional context. Considering how touch brings bodies into contact with other bodies, material objects and the world in physical and conceptual terms, the present contributions bring the importance of embodied practice to the forefront of a dynamic field of inquiry.” (Sarah Jane Brazil, University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Touching, Devotional Practices, and Visionary Experiences in the Late Middle Ages is a long-awaited book that draws upon both theoretical premise and the evidence of concrete materiality in order to progress and contemporise traditional studies of medieval affect and its often-overlooked tactility in the context of popular forms of devotion and visionary experience. In particular, the array of what constitutes at times dazzling contributions, by both seasoned scholars and those relatively new to the field, serves to deepen our understanding of the covert, and often queer, operations of the haptic within medieval devotional affective practice, whilst casting it in an innovative dialogic frame that allows it to reach out achronically to touch the now.” (Liz Herbert McAvoy, Swansea University, UK)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)
  • A Clash of Theories: Discussing Late Medieval Devotional Perception

    Pages 1-17

    Acosta-García, Pablo

  • Touching the Page and Touching the Heart: Manuscript Culture and Affective Devotion in Late Medieval Flemish Communities

    Pages 21-42

    Zimbalist, Barbara

  • Drama, Performance and Touch in the Medieval Convent and Beyond

    Pages 43-68

    Robinson, Olivia (et al.)

  • Sacralising Perception: Rosary-Devotion and Tactile Experience of the Divine in Late Medieval Denmark

    Pages 71-93

    Heilskov, Mads Vedel

  • Haptic Prayer, Devotional Books and Practices of Perception

    Pages 95-122

    Skinnebach, Laura Katrine

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26029-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26028-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Touching, Devotional Practices, and Visionary Experience in the Late Middle Ages
Editors
  • David Carrillo-Rangel
  • Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel
  • Pablo Acosta-García
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-26029-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-26029-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-26028-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXII, 276
Number of Illustrations
30 illustrations in colour
Topics

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