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This book examines the promotion of the sensuous as part of religious experience in the Roman Catholic Church of the early modern period. During the Counter-Reformation, every aspect of religious and devotional practice was reviewed, including the role of art and architecture, while the invocation of the five senses to incite devotion became a hotly contested topic. The Protestants had condemned the material cult of veneration of relics and images, rejecting the importance of emotion and the senses and instead promoting the power of reason in receiving the Word of God. After much debate, the Church concluded that the senses are necessary to appreciate the sublime, and that they derive from the Holy Spirit. As part of its attempt to win back the faithful, the Church embraced the sensuous and promoted the use of images, relics, liturgy, processions, music and theatre as important parts of religious experience.
Table of Contents
The sensuous: recent research
Trent, sacred images, and Catholics' senses of the sensuous
The world made flesh: spiritual subjects and carnal depictions in Renaissance art
How words control images: the rhetoric of decorum in Counter-Reformation Italy
Custodia degli occhi: discipline and desire in post-Tridentine Italian art
Raffaelle Borghini and the corpus of Florentine art in an age of reform
Censure and censorship in Rome ca.1600: visitation of Clement VIII and the visual arts
Painting virtuously: the Counter-Reform and the reform of artists' education in Rome between guild and academy
Carlo Borromeo and the dangers of lay women in church
'To be in heaven': Saint Filippo Neri between aesthetic emotion and mystical ecstasy
Rebuilding faith through art: Christoph Schwarz's altarpiece for the new Jesuit school in Munich
'Until shadows disperse': Augustine's twilight
A machine for souls: allegory before and after Trent
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