Faith and Fantasy in the Renaissance: Texts, Images, and Religious Practices

Edited by Ethan Matt Kavaler and Olga Zorzi Pugliese - ES21

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A fundamental aspect of culture in all ages, religion was a particularly crucial issue in the Renaissance. Religion and imagination, or “faith and fantasy”, represent the theme of this volume. These essays explore the intersection between religion and the creative forces of the individuals who wrote about sacred matters, practised their religion, or fashioned religious themes in their artwork. They touch upon different currents of religious thought – not only Catholic and Protestant beliefs, including the devotio moderna and Calvinism – but also Judaism and ancient Hebrew traditions, and even popular superstitions. The focus is not on the doctrines, but rather on the impact that religion, in its various manifestations, had on the literature, art, and other cultural aspects of the period, and, conversely, the influence of human creativity and imagination on interpretations of religion through cultural manifestations.

Olga Zorzi Pugliese teaches Italian at the University of Toronto. She has published monographs on dialogue (1995) and Castiglione (2008) and articles on religious texts of the Renaissance.

Ethan Matt Kavaler teaches art history at the University of Toronto and is author of Pieter Bruegel: Parables of Order and Enterprise (1999).

360 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2049-8 softcover
Published: 2009


Renaissance Quarterly, 63:3 (Fall 2010), pp. 966-968. Reviewed by Ralph Dekoninck.


Olga Zorzi Pugliese and Ethan Matt Kavaler, “Introduction”

I. Faith and Fantasy in Written Texts and Religious Practices
1. Pina Palma , “Transformative Imagery in Dante: Inferno XXV and Purgatorio XXV “
2. Mélissa Lapointe , “Le Miroir de l’âme pécheresse, poésie spirituelle et rhétorique. Exemplum et imaginaire: moteurs de cheminement de foi”
3. Hui-Chu (Sandra) Yu, “Faith, Power, and the Imagined Christian Community: A Dialogue Between Erasmus and Tyndale”
4. James W. Nelson Novoa, “Imagination as Exegesis in the Apocalypsis nova Attributed to Blessed Amadeus da Silva”
5. Paola Modesti, “The Imaginative Creation of a Builder Patron Saint: The Venetian ‘Rediscovery’ of Magnus”
6. Filip Wolański, “The Intercession of Polish Saints in Old Polish Sermons of the First Half of the Seventeenth Century”
7. Rienzo Pellegrini, “Friulian Incantations From Inquisition Trials of the Seventeenth Century”
8. Tomasz Wiślicz, “Talking to the Devil in Early Modern Popular Imagination”
9. Justine Semmens, “La Clôture dans le Monde: Enclosure and the Religious Imagination in Histoire de l’ordre des Religieuses Filles de Nôtre-Dame
10. Joseph Pivato, “An Italian Jesuit in Canada: Faith and Imagination in Bressani’s Breve Relatione of 1653″

II. Faith and Fantasy in Art
11. Charles H. Carman, “Faith and Vision in Leon Battista Alberti and Nicholas Cusanus: Reality and Rhetoric in Sacred Space”
12. Joëlle Guidini-Raybaud, “Sainte Anne en Immaculée Conception dans un vitrail de l’Arbre de Jessé (Apt, Vaucluse): L’invention d’une image, 1501”
13. Grażyna Jurkowlaniec, “Faith, Paragone, and Commemoration in Dürer’s ‘Christomorphic’ Self-Portrait of 1500″
14. Mia M. Mochizuki, “Rembrandt’s Ten Commandments: Pluralism and the Religious Imagination”
15. Barbara Uppenkamp, ” The Column of Predestination: Some Remarks on Invention in Protestant Reformed Imagery”
16. Ellen Konowitz, “Hugo van der Goes’s Portinari Altarpiece and the Heart of Devotion”
17. Shelley Perlove, ” The Jerusalem Temple: Rembrandt’s Faith and Fantasy”
18. David Karmon, “Preservation as Transcendent Vision: Antonio Duca and Santa Maria degli Angeli”
19. Philippa Sheppard, “’The Difference of Our Spirit’: Michael Radford Reconfigures Jewish-Christian Encounters in his Film of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice