The Pope's Body

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9780226034379: The Pope's Body

In contrast to the role traditionally fulfilled by secular rulers, the pope has been perceived as an individual person existing in a body subject to decay and death, yet at the same time a corporeal representation of Christ and the Church, eternity and salvation. Using an array of evidence from the eleventh through the fifteenth centuries, Agostino Paravicini- Bagliani addresses this paradox. He studies the rituals, metaphors, and images of the pope's body as they developed over time and shows how they resulted in the expectation that the pope's body be simultaneously physical and metaphorical. Also included is a particular emphasis on the thirteenth century when, during the pontificate of Boniface VIII (1294-1303), the papal court became the focus of medicine and the natural sciences as physicians devised ways to protect the pope's health and prolong his life.

Masterfully translated from the Italian, this engaging history of the pope's body provides a new perspective for readers to understand the papacy, both historically and in our own time.

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Review:

For years now, journalists have engaged in feverish speculation about the health of Pope John Paul II. There is at least as much at stake in his death as in his life, because he is not only himself, he is also the incarnation of the universal church. This paradoxical quality of a pope's life was first widely discussed in the early Middle Ages. By the 13th century, resolving the tension between the pope's actual and metaphorical body--by prolonging his life and preserving his health--was so important that the papal court became Europe's leading laboratory for the natural sciences. This development is the subject of The Pope's Body, a quirky, intelligent book by Agostino Paravicini- Bagliani, a professor of medieval history at the University of Lausanne. Burial customs, medieval optics, and a host of motley subjects are harnessed in service to the book's primary argument: "Once the pope as an institutional figure became ... the incarnation of the universal church as well, the physical aspect of his private person had to be subjected to ever more rigorous ritual and symbolic analysis and control." This is not easy reading: straightforward arguments lie in thickets of allusions to medieval science and theology. Nevertheless, it's worth the work. --Michael Joseph Gross

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In contrast to the role traditionally fulfilled by secular rulers, the pope has been perceived as an individual person existing in a body subject to decay and death, yet at the same time a corporeal representation of Christ and the Church, eternity and salvation. Using an array of evidence from the 11th through the 15th centuries, Agostino Paravicini-Bagliani addresses this paradox. He studies the rituals, metaphors and images of the pope s body as they developed over time and shows how they resulted in the expectation that the pope s body be simultaneously physical and metaphorical. Also included is a particular emphasis on the 13th century, when, during the pontificate of Boniface VIII (1294-1303), the papal court became the focus of medicine and the natural sciences as physicians devised ways to protect the pope s health and prolong his life. Masterfully translated from the Italian, this engaging history of the pope s body provides a new perspective for readers to understand the papacy, both historically and in our own time. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780226034379

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Book Description 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. In contrast to the role traditionally fulfilled by secular rulers, the pope has been perceived as an individual person existing in a body subject to decay and death, yet at th.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.703. Bookseller Inventory # 9780226034379

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