In a recent issue of Forword Reviews, Rachel Jagareski discusses Dissimilar Similitudes: Devotional Objects in Late Medieval Europe by Caroline Walker Bynum. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:
“The erudite, illustrated essays of Dissimilar Similitudes concern art, history, religion, and culture in late medieval Europe—in particular, how devotional objects and images were viewed by worshippers. Some challenge traditional interpretations of how such items were used.
Thoughtful as they examine how medieval Europeans viewed life and the afterlife, Caroline Walker Bynum’s essays stress that morphologically similar objects can’t be assumed to share religious and cultural meaning. They also underscore that devout medieval worshippers would have viewed ordinary items as imbued with religious power based on mathematical or visual similarities, and that such folk objects should be reexamined with these understandings of ‘dissimilar similitude.’”