The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Ser

Published by: Central European University Press

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The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Ser

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Divine Presence in Spain and Western Europe 1500–1960

Visions, Religious Images and Photographs

By William A. Christian, Jr.

This study addresses the relation of people to divine beings in contemporary and historical communities, as exemplified in three strands. One is a long tradition of visions of mysterious wayfarers in rural Spain who bring otherworldly news and help, including recent examples. Another treats the seeming vivification of religious images—statues, paintings, engravings, and photographs apparently exuding blood, sweat and tears in Spanish homes and churches  in the early modern period and the revival of the phenomenon throughout Europe in the twentieth century.  Of special interest is the third strand of the book: the transposition of medieval and early modern representations of the relations between humans and the divine into the modern art of photography. Christian presents a pictorial examination of the phenomenon with a large number of religious images, commercial postcards and family photographs from the first half of past century Europe.

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Emotion and Devotion

The Meaning of Mary in Medieval Religious Cultures

By Miri Rubin

In Emotion and Devotion Miri Rubin explores the craft of the historian through a series of studies of medieval religious cultures. In three original chapters she approaches the medieval figure of the Virgin Mary with the aim of unravelling meaning and experience. Hymns and miracle tales, altarpieces and sermons – a wide range of sources from many European regions – are made to reveal the creativity and richness which they elicited in medieval people, women and men, clergy and laity, people of status and riches as well as those of modest means.  

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Emotions in History – Lost and Found

By Ute frevert

Coming to terms with emotions and how they influence human behaviour, seems to be of the utmost importance to societies that are obsessed with everything “neuro.” On the other hand, emotions have become an object of constant individual and social manipulation since “emotional intelligence” emerged as a buzzword of our times. Reflecting on this burgeoning interest in human emotions makes one think of how this interest developed and what fuelled it. From a historian’s point of view, it can be traced back to classical antiquity. But it has undergone shifts and changes which can in turn shed light on social concepts of the self and its relation to other human beings (and nature). The volume focuses on the historicity of emotions and explores the processes that brought them to the fore of public interest and debate.

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Friendship and Love, Ethics and Politics

Studies in Mediaeval and Early Modern History

By Eva Osterberg

Today, friendship, love and sexuality are mostly viewed as private, personal and informal relations. In the mediaeval and early modern period, just like in ancient times, this was different. The classical philosophy of friendship (Aristotle) included both friendship and love in the concept of philia. It was also linked to an argument about the virtues needed to become an excellent member of the city state. Thus, close relations were not only thought to be a matter of pleasant gatherings in privacy, but just as much a matter of ethics and politics. What, then, happened to the classical ideas of close relations when they were transmitted to philosophers, clerical and monastic thinkers, state officials or other people in the medieval and early modern period? To what extent did friendship transcend the distinctions between private and public that then existed? How were close relations shaped in practice? Did dialogues with close friends help to contribute to the process of subject-formation in the Renaissance and Enlightenment? To what degree did institutions of power or individual thinkers find it necessary to caution against friendship or love and sexuality?

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Measuring Time, Making History

By Lynn Hunt

Time is the crucial ingredient in history, and yet historians rarely talk about time as such. These essays offer new insight into the development of modern conceptions of time, from the Christian dating system (BC/AD or BCE/CE) to the idea of “modernity” as a new epoch in human history.

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