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Spring 2024


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New in Religion and the Arts
A Review of Dissimilar Similitudes: Devotional Objects in Late Medieval Europe

In a recent review for Religion and the Arts, Andrea C. Snow discusses Caroline Walker Bynum’s Dissimilar Similitudes: Devotional Objects in Late Medieval Europe. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to access the article or see the button to the left. An excerpt appears below:

“Having built a career that spans across history, art history, and religious studies, Caroline Walker Bynum’s work has become legendary among scholars of the Middle Ages. Imparting each field with critical advances in the discourses of gender, the body, materiality, and transformation, her contributions are revelatory experiences for readers. Her latest book, Dissimilar Similitudes: Devotional Objects in Late Medieval Europe, carries not an expansion of these previous achievements, but a mindful framework that has emerged from decades of dedication to investigating the perception and power of material things in medieval Christianity. Lucidly written, Dissimilar Similitudes presents several examinations of objects from late medieval northern Germany. Bynum’s sensitive studies—of cradles and beds that served as altars and invited divine encounters, crowns that manifested nuns’ hidden spiritual statuses, of things sullied with contemptible violence, and of depictions of Christ’s earthly footprints left on the Mount of Olives—construct a compelling argument that emboldens scholars to embrace elasticity in their understandings of devotional objects.”