New book: Words and Matter

Words and Matter presents new work on the reception of the Mater Dei. Behind the book stands two language researchers at Umeň university, Jonas Carlquist and Virginia Langum.

Although a minimal presence in the Bible, the Virgin Mary figured prominently in the cultural artefacts produced in the Middle Ages and even after the Reformation. As words, she dwelled in exempla, sermons, prayers and plays. As matter, she imprinted church, windows, wall paintings and illuminations.

In her various manifestations, Mary engaged the senses, minds and bodies of the faithful. The studies in this collection span the Nordic countries, Ireland, England and southern Europe during the later Middle Ages and the Reformation. However, all the essays in Words and matter are grounded in the practices of the late medieval and early modern parish and the beliefs of the ordinary faithful.

The book is published in the Runica et Mediaevalia: Scripta minora 24 series and is printed in Stockholm 2015.

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