Thomas Aquinas's Relics as Focus for Conflict and Cult in the Late Middle Ages

The Restless Corpse

Marika Räsänen

Thomas Aquinas's Relics as Focus for Conflict and Cult in the Late Middle Ages

Marika Räsänen

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

308 pages | 12 halftones, 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 1/4 | © 2016
Cloth $124.00 ISBN: 9789089648730 Published April 2017 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
This book offers a new way of looking at Saint Thomas Aquinas—not as a living man, but as a posthumous source of relics. Marika Räsänen delves deep into the strange relationship between Aquinas’s physical remains and the devotional moments they enabled—in many cases in situations where the actual relics were not even present, but were only re-created verbally, pictorially, or allegorically. Both the actual relics and these extended manifestations of them, Räsänen shows, were equally real to the medieval spectator, though the question of the material presence of Aquinas’s remains became increasingly important over time amid the political tumult of southern Italy.
 
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