Titolo: Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium
Casa editrice: Harvard University Press
Data di pubblicazione: 2016
Condizione libro: New
Tipologia articolo: Book
"Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium aims to understand how the use of psychological abnormality functions in deep societal transformations, producing a major shift in the religious, cultural, mental, and social aspects. The book examines a particular setof religious phenomena, in a broadly defined period and area - the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East between the birth of Christianity and that of Islam - and seeks to reach conclusions on the nature and function of abnormal behavior sanctified by society. Taking as a starting point a particular type of saint of Orthodox Christianity, the holy fool, the person who feigns madness, and investigating other types of saints who portray abnormal behavior, such as the martyr and the ascetic, the book reveals the ambiguous character of the boundary between sanity and insanity. It explains the significance of this ambiguity to the religious experience as a motor of social movement, and sets it at the core of the socio-religious transformation that changed the Antique civilization into a world of medieval societies."-- Our orders are sent from our warehouse locally or directly from our international distributors to allow us to offer you the best possible price and delivery time. Codice inventario libreria MM-60877769
In the Roman and Byzantine Near East, the holy fool emerged in Christianity as a way of describing individuals whose apparent madness allowed them to achieve a higher level of spirituality. Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium examines how the figure of the mad saint or mystic was used as a means of individual and collective transformation in the period between the birth of Christianity and the rise of Islam. It presents a novel interpretation in revealing the central role that psychology plays in social and historical development.
Early Christians looked to figures who embodied extremes of behavior?like the holy fool, the ascetic, the martyr?to redefine their social, cultural, and mental settings by reading new values in abnormal behavior. Comparing such forms of extreme behavior in early Christian, pagan, and Jewish societies, and drawing on theories of relational psychoanalysis, anthropology, and sociology of religion, Youval Rotman explains how the sanctification of figures of extreme behavior makes their abnormality socially and psychologically functional. The sanctification of abnormal mad behavior created a sphere of ambiguity in the ambit of religious experience for early Christians, which brought about a deep psychological shift, necessary for the transition from Paganism to Christianity.
A developing society leaves porous the border between what is normal and abnormal, between sanity and insanity, in order to use this ambiguity as a means of change. Rotman emphasizes the role of religion in maintaining this ambiguity to effect a social and psychological transformation.
L'autore: Youval Rotman is a Byzantinist and Associate Professor of History at Tel Aviv University.
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Libreria AbeBooks dal: 11 giugno 2012
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