The Wisdom of Animals
Creatureliness in Early Modern French Spirituality
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Animals have decorated heraldic shields, populated the pages of medieval manuscripts, woven themselves into tapestries, featured as ornamentation on baroque pottery, been formed into the fanciful deformations called gargoyles, farmed our fields, symbolized human weaknesses, lusts, and desires, and insinuated themselves into our...
Chapter One: Sixteenth-Century Animal Avatars in Montaigne and His Contemporaries
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Montaigne’s famous interaction with his cat provides the reader with a ludic spectacle, as well as giving Montaigne himself a philosophical framework from which to approach the nature of animality and the twinned questions of animal consciousness and language. The micronarrative relies on the sense of sight but also uses imagination...
Chapter Two: Job’s Horse and Other Creatures
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In the 1980s feature film The Madness of King George, a physician and former man of the cloth is able temporarily to arrest the slow and frightening descent into madness of England’s monarch by reassuring him that he holds him firmly in his gaze: “I have you in my eye, Sir; I have you in my eye.” This statement, somewhat...
Chapter Three: The Fauna of Faith
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The medieval Dominican preacher Meister Eckhart said that if he were to contemplate the tiniest creature, perhaps an insect, sufficiently, he would never need to write another sermon, for that natural creature would summarize and display the Word of God more fully than any sermon (1986, 234)...
Chapter Four: Le Père Bougeant’s Heresy
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In the film Ridicule, a portrayal of salon culture, the character of the Abbé, “lion” of his salon and virtuoso of verbal improvisation and witty repartee, grandiloquently proves the existence of God before the king and his assembled courtiers through a series of cleverly reasoned plays on words. When the king rises to applaud these punning pyrotechnics...
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Over a quarter century ago, the British historian Keith Thomas, acknowledged by many as the progenitor of work on animal rights, published Man and the Natural World: A History of the Modern Sensibility. This book documented the mentalité, from the late Middle Ages through the present day, that English men and women evinced...
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About the Author, Back Cover
Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2014