How did Christianity, Islam and Buddhism frame the emergence and significance of particular communities in medieval Eurasia? This volume of well-linked comparative studies addresses the terminology of community, genealogies, urban communities and monasteries in medieval Europe, South Arabia and Tibet.
Empires of the Sea
Author: Roger Crowley
When Suleiman the Magnificent's invasion fleet set sail for Rhodes in 1521, it was the start of a 60 year epic struggle for control of the Mediterranean. This is a breathtaking story of military crusading, Barbary pirates, white slavery and the Ottoman Empire - as well as the contest between Islam and Christianity, East and West.
Partners in Spirit
Author: Fiona J. Griffiths, Julie Hotchin
Publisher: Brepols Pub
Partners in Spirit focuses on relations between chaste men and women within religious life in Germany (c. 1100-1500), concentrating on the complex set of negotiations that governed contact between a male priest and his female charge. Although religious women were undeniably reliant on priests for pastoral care (the cura monialium) throughout the medieval period, it does not follow that men saw such care as burdensome or that women were spiritually subordinate in their relations with priests. Within the context of the cura, ordained men and professed women met regularly, often developing intimate friendships and providing each other with crucial spiritual support, despite prevailing fears that contact between the sexes must result in sexual temptation and sin. Examining the various interactions of priests with religious women, Partners in Spirit traces the ways in which both viewed the cura, highlighting the fluidity of gender and authority within the medieval religious life. In so doing, the volume suggests new ways of considering the intersection of gender, religion, and spiritual power within the medieval world.
Author: Constant J. Mews
The words 'Listen daughter' (Audi filia, from Psalm 44 in the Latin Vulgate) were frequently used in exhortations to religious women in the twelfth century. This was a period of dramatic growth in the involvement of women in various forms of religious life. While Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) has become widely known in recent years as one of the most eloquent and original voices of the period, she is often seen as a figure in isolation from her context. She lived at a time of much questioning of traditional models of religious life, by women as well as by men. This volume introduces readers to a range of strategies provoked by the growth in women's participation in religious life in one form or another, as well as to male responses to this development. In particular, it looks at the 'Mirror for Virgins' (Speculum Virginum), an illustrated dialogue between a nun and her spiritual mentor written by a monk not long before Hildegard started to record her visions. While this treatise engages in dialogue with a fictional virgin, other writings present women (not just Hildegard) as teaching both women and men. An appendix will provide the first English translation of significant excerpts from the Speculum, as well as from other little known texts about religious women from the age of Hildegard. The underlying concern of this volume is to examine new ways in which religious life for women was conceived by men as well as interpreted in practice by women within a society firmly patriarchal in character.
The essays in this collection examine emotional responses to art and music, the role of emotions in contemporary notions of gender and sexuality and theoretical questions as to their use.
What is the current state of discussion in Cultural History? Which European institutions engage exclusively in Cultural History and which topics do they address? And how will Cultural History develop in the future? These and other questions are raised by European scholars in the discussion of Institutions, Themes and Perspectives of Cultural History in this volume. It provides a profound overview of contemporary developments in Scandinavia, Finland, Great Britain, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Spain.
This is a standard work of reference for the study of the religious history of western Christianity in the later middle ages which, since its original publication in French in 1981, has come to be regarded as one of the great contributions to medieval studies of recent times. Hagiographical texts and reports of the processes of canonisation - a mode of investigation into saints' lives and their miracles implemented by the popes from the end of the twelfth century - are here used for the first time as major source materials. The book illuminates the main features of the medieval religious mind, and highlights the popes' attempts to gain firmer control over the wide variety of expressions of faith towards the saints in order to promote a higher pattern of devotion and moral behaviour among Christians.
Each of the studies in this volume draws upon a manuscript, or a group of manuscripts, that shed light on the practice of monastic life during this period of reform. Many, but not all, of the papers focus on the monastery of Admont in central Austria. Admont was one of the most important spiritual, cultural, and intellectual centres in the high Middle Ages, and its magnificent library still houses an extensive collection of manuscripts - a rich resource both for the history of the monastery and for the broader history of medieval religious life. The book brings together the work of an international group of scholars whose work touches on various aspects of twelfth-century Admont, and the broader movement for reform and renewal in Germany and Austria. With the publication of Charles Homer Haskin's important work, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century (1933), came a new way of looking at the civilization of the high Middle Ages. Scholars have since investigated many aspects of this revival: the rise of the universities, the development of canon law, the emergence (or re-emergence) of a heightened sense of human individuality, and the revival of religious fervour that has been labelled a reformation before the Reformation. Much of this scholarly work has focused on north-central Italy, France and England. Germany, however, has been little studied in this context, in part because the nature and trajectory of the reform there differed from that seen elsewhere in Europe. The essays in the book both explore connections between Germanic lands and the wider western European context, and consider the unique spiritual and intellectual climate of Germany's monasteries.
Reading the Popular
Author: John Fiske
This revised edition of a now classic text includes a new introduction by Henry Jenkins, explaining ‘Why Fiske Still Matters’ for today’s students, followed by a discussion between former Fiske students Kevin Glynn, Jonathan Gray, and Pamela Wilson on the theme of ‘Reading Fiske and Understanding the Popular’. Both underline the continuing relevance of this foundational text in the study of popular culture. Beneath the surface of the cultural artifacts that surround us – shopping malls, popular music, the various forms of television – lies a multitude of meanings and ways of using them, not all of them those intended by their designers. In Reading the Popular, John Fiske analyzes these popular "texts" to reveal both their explicit and implicit (and often opposite) meanings and uses, and the social and political dynamics they reflect. Fiske’s "readings" of these cultural phenomena highlight the conflicting responses they evoke: Madonna may be promoted as a "boy toy", but young girls feel empowered by her ability to toy with boys; Chicago’s Sears Tower may be a massive expression of capitalist domination, but it can also allow one to tower over the city. In each case it is the latter option that interests him, for this is where Fiske locates popular culture: it is the point at which people take the goods offered them by industrial capitalism (however oppressive they may seem) and turn them to their own creative, and even subversive, uses. Designed as a companion to Understanding Popular Culture, Reading the Popular gives the lie to theories that portray a mass audience that mindlessly consumes every product it is offered. Fiske’s acute perception and lively wit combine to provide a truly democratic vision of popular culture, one that respects the awareness and the agency of the people who make it.
Medieval world maps are often seen today as quaint and amusing artefacts that are hopelessly wrong. Evelyn Edson demonstrates that the medieval world view, as expressed in maps, was not simply a matter of physical measurements, but of placing the earth in a philosophical and religious context. Hence many medieval maps show the passage of time and a narrative of human spiritual development including creation, the coming of Christ, and the Last Judgement. Professor Edson makes clear that modern assumptions concerning maps are of little value, and one cannot assume that the maps were used for the same purpose or had the same meaning as they have today. In fact the differences in structure and content can give us an intriguing view of how medieval makers and readers saw their world. A wide range of manuscripts are surveyed including works of history (both 'universal histories' and more locally-focused chronicles), Easter and calendar manuscripts, individual maps including such famous wall maps as the Ebstorf Map and the Hereford Mappa Mundi, and lastly maps which were designed to illustrate religious visions.
Medieval Narrative Sources
Author: Werner Verbeke, Ludovicus Milis, Jean Goossens
Publisher: Leuven University Press
More than ten years ago, some mediaevalists of the K.U.Leuven and the University of Ghent joined together to create a repertory of medieval narrative sources focusing on the southern Low Countries. A pre-print was published in a paper version and was soon followed by the electronic database entitled Narrative Sources which is available through the Internet. Since 1996, Narrative Sources has been adapted, supplemented and rearranged every year and over the years the number of inventoried items has been increased to far more than 2150 titles. The information present thus far in Narrative Sources already allows and facilitates the study of the sources as such, individually or collectively, qualitatively or quantitatively.In a next step the goal would be the exploitation of the contents, with a specific focus on monastic historiography, its social setting, and self-image. In this book some of the scholars working on this project present their work, their methodology and their results to-date.
The history of medieval Germany is still rarely studied in the English-speaking world. This collection of essays by distinguished German historians examines one of most important themes of German medieval history, the development of the local principalities. These became the dominant governmental institutions of the late medieval Reich, whose nominal monarchs needed to work with the princes if they were to possess any effective authority. Previous scholarship in English has tended to look at medieval Germany primarily in terms of the struggles and eventual decline of monarchical authority during the Salian and Staufen eras – in other words, at the "failure" of a centralised monarchy. Today, the federalised nature of late medieval and early modern Germany seems a more natural and understandable phenomenon than it did during previous eras when state-building appeared to be the natural and inevitable process of historical development, and any deviation from the path towards a centralised state seemed to be an aberration. In addition, by looking at the origins and consolidation of the principalities, the book also brings an English audience into contact with the modern German tradition of regional history (Landesgeschichte). These path-breaking essays open a vista into the richness and complexity of German medieval history.
Author: Leon Zelman, Armin Thurnher
Publisher: Holmes & Meier Pub
Leon Zelman is in love with Vienna, his adopted city, where he has carved out a life for himself as a "public Jew," despite the city's anti-Semitic legacy. In Leon Zelman's memoir, we learn how he came to choose Vienna and how he walked a political tightrope for fifty years in postwar Austria.
Women as Scribes
Author: Alison I. Beach
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This study shows how female scribes contributed to the intellectual revival of the Middle Ages.