The Grief of God: Images of the Suffering Jesus in Late Medieval England by Ellen M. Ross | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
The Grief of God: Images of the Suffering Jesus in Late Medieval England

The Grief of God: Images of the Suffering Jesus in Late Medieval England

by Ellen M. Ross
     
 

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Graphic portrayals of the suffering Jesus Christ pervade late medieval English art, literature, drama, and theology. These images have been interpreted as signs of a new emphasis on the humanity of Jesus. To others they indicate a fascination with a terrifying God of vengeance and a morbid obsession with death. In The Grief of God, however, Ellen Ross offers

Overview

Graphic portrayals of the suffering Jesus Christ pervade late medieval English art, literature, drama, and theology. These images have been interpreted as signs of a new emphasis on the humanity of Jesus. To others they indicate a fascination with a terrifying God of vengeance and a morbid obsession with death. In The Grief of God, however, Ellen Ross offers a different understanding of the purpose of this imagery and its meaning to the people of the time. Analyzing a wide range of textual and pictorial evidence, the author finds that the bleeding flesh of the wounded Savior manifests divine presence; in the intensified corporeality of the suffering Jesus whose flesh not only condemns, but also nurtures, heals, and feeds, believers meet a trinitarian God of mercy. Ross explores the rhetoric of transformation common to English medieval artistic, literary, and devotional sources. The extravagant depictions of pain and anguish, the author shows, constitute an urgent appeal to respond to Jesus' expression of love. She also explains how the inscribing of Christ's pain on the bodies of believers at times erased the boundaries between human and divine so that holy persons, and in particular, holy women, participated in the transformative power of Christ. In analyzing the dialects of mercy and justice; the construction of sacred space and time; sacraments and ritual celebration, social action, and divine judgment; and the dynamics of women's public religious authority, this study of religion and culture explores the meaning of the late medieval Christian affirmation that God bled and wept and suffered on the cross to draw persons to Godself. This interdisciplinary study of sermon literature, manuscript illuminations and church wall paintings, drama, hagiographic narratives, and spiritual treaties illuminates the religious sensibilities, practices, and beliefs that constellate around the late medieval fascination with the bleeding body of the suffering Jesus Christ.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Ross (religion and medieval studies, Swarthmore College) finds in the pervasive and graphic images of the wounded Savior's bleeding flesh a manifestation of divine presence, and in the intense corporeality a trinitarian God of mercy. She interprets the extravagant depictions of pain and anguish in artistic, literary, and devotional sources as an urgent appeal to respond to Jesus' expression of love. Such images, she says, erased the boundaries between human and divine so that believers, particularly women, could participate in the transformative power of Christ. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
"This study is balanced and sensitive as well as theologically sound and historically convincing."—Choice

"Ross's interdisciplinary approach and firm attention to her theme of the Passion as expression of divine love and mercy provide both a deep texture and continually reinforced focus that serves her purpose well..."—Church History

"This is a deeply serious, lucid study not merely of late medieval piety and culture, but of the more general problem regarding the affirming impact of sacred violence and pain in Christianity."—Theological Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195344530
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/20/1997
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

Swarthmore College

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