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Cognitive Sciences and Medieval Studies breaks ground on very important, yet controversial, territory. As its title indicates, this volume primarily explores what we might call the principles of the mind or brain in European medieval society, in unique ways.
The Complete Lives of Camp People by Rudolf Mrázek is part of the Theory in Form series by Duke University Press, which ‘seeks new work that addresses the politics of life and death’. (1) Set in the Dutch Boven Digoel isolation camp and the Theresienstadt Nazi ghetto, Mrázek’s work is well suited for the series.
A lack of institutional documentation has rendered it difficult for scholars of early modernity to reconstruct the significance of apostasy from Judaism before the Council of Trent (1545-1563). As such, the reasons behind the conversion of Jews to Catholicism, especially in Renaissance Italy, remain understudied to this day.
Hannah Barker’s book is a thorough and engaging evaluation of late medieval slave trading practices in the Mediterranean. The tile is taken from the 15th-century recollection and denunciation of an Alexandrian slave market by Felix Fabri, a German friar (p. 209).
Married Life in the Middle Ages offers a refreshing approach to medieval marriage. Elisabeth van Houts focuses on the social and emotional sides of marriage rather than viewing marriage through a legal or institutional lens. Two aspects of van Houts’ book set it apart from others.
The Birth of Modern Belief is seriously good. It is erudite, insightful, and cogent; but, above all, it enables us to think hard about the relationship between our past and our present.
The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy presents itself as an important and innovative book in the panorama of the contemporary historical research of the Renaissance.
France is a land of roadside crosses. Most of these date from the 19th and 20th centuries, ‘planted’ during Roman Catholic revival missions, or as thanksgivings and memorials for liberation from war or adversity. Planting crosses is a very old tradition.
The renewed focus of many historians on post-Reformation English Catholicism in the last few decades has meant that the expatriate English Catholic community in Continental Europe, which produced and preserved many of the records of the English Catholic community, is often a main source of evidence.
Historically, wars have always witnessed reports of ghostly sightings and visions. However, the First World War is of particular interest as such phenomena occurred in a more modern, secular environment, at a time when science and secularisation had emerged as predominant ways of thinking about the world. In addition, the number of lives being lost due to conflict was unprecedented.