Devotion to the crucified Christ is one of the most familiar,
yet most disconcerting artifacts of medieval European civilization.
How and why did the images of the dying God-man and his grieving
mother achieve such prominence, inspiring unparalleled religious
creativity as well such imitative extremes as celibacy and
self-flagellation? To answer this question, Rachel Fulton ranges
over developments in liturgical performance, private prayer,
doctrine, and art. She considers the fear occasioned by the
disappointed hopes of medieval Christians convinced that the
apocalypse would come soon, the revulsion of medieval Jews at being
baptized in the name of God born from a woman, the reform of the
Church in light of a new European money economy, the eroticism of
the Marian exegesis of the Song of Songs, and much more.
Subjects: History, Religion
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