Genuinely deserving of the hype, Ginzburg uses unearthed Inquisition records, made after the Lutheran rebellion, to investigate the unique heresies ofGenuinely deserving of the hype, Ginzburg uses unearthed Inquisition records, made after the Lutheran rebellion, to investigate the unique heresies of a simple miller.
Taking his time, Ginzburg unearths elements of a peasant oral culture that is largely unrecorded except in Inquisition records.
A great book all around, and highly recommended....more
This psychoanalytic analysis of young Martin Luther provides valuable insights into the man's own thought processes. What emerges is a complex young mThis psychoanalytic analysis of young Martin Luther provides valuable insights into the man's own thought processes. What emerges is a complex young man whose own fears of The Father - both earthly and Heavenly - led to his famed theological break from Roman Catholicism and the Spiritual Father of the Western world.
He comes across as all too human - not the "Here I Stand" hero beloved of Reformers, but a young man working out his own issues, who inadvertently inspired a theological - and political and economic - revolution that he never really wanted and often doubted - and let down....more
When I first received this book, the title suggested to me that it would be an overview of Christian art.
It is, but its focus is strictly Western (theWhen I first received this book, the title suggested to me that it would be an overview of Christian art.
It is, but its focus is strictly Western (there are no Indian or Japanese or African Christian paintings here, even though those do exist). This is somewhat limiting, but still interesting.
Dillenberger does not tacke Christian art as a whole - this is not strictly a recounting of several centuries of Christian art.
Instead, it takes key examples of the zeitgeist for Christian art - the Junius Bassus sarcophagus, for example, as an example of very early Christian art - and interprets them in their historical, cultural, and even Scriptural context.
For example, early Christian art tended to focus less on Christ Himself - for reasons explored in the book - than on scenes from the Hebrew Scriptures that seemed to exemplify the central salvation narrative of Christ's sacrifice.
So, for example, Daniel in the Lion's Den was not merely depicted for its own value, but because it was seen, typologically, as pre-figuring the salvific work of Christ on the cross.
The eras of art studied are Early Christian, Medieval and Byzantine, Renaissance, High Renaissance, The Northern Renaissance, Italy of the 16th and 17th centuries, and the Modern period.
Art from the eras tends to focus on the "Masters" of each genre - Fra Angelico, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brugel the Elder, Durer, among others.
A prejudice of mine is that I do not care much for "modern period" art, so while I found the other chapters very interesting, the "modern period" did little for me. I am simply not attracted to the art (though Rouault, whom I'd not heard of before, is quite good). For someone interested in the Modernist art movement, it would no doubt hold far more interest.
Also, while there are many plates, none are in colour, which made me go to the Internet to search out and explore the coloured versions on my computer screen. The plates, while plentiful and generous, really needed to be in colour, in my estimation. Even with the Modernist works, the black and white versions are simply not nearly as good as a colour reproduction. Rouault's Head of Christ, for example, is much more striking in colour, to say nothing of Brugel the Elder's works, or the The Fall and Expulsion by Michelangelo.
A more accurate title would be "Masterpieces of Christian Art," because there is Christian art beyond the examples chosen. Nevertheless, worth a read for those curious about the subject, as it makes a good introduction, and is even interesting for topics one has little interest in (i.e. for me, the Modern period)....more