Why care about medieval history? Why spend your time reading about it? Because medieval history has so much to teach us about where our culture comes from, so much to illuminate about how we think of our bodies, so much to show us about how differently people can think and can experience life. But really, I just want everyone to know about the traveling uterus theory (for real, you need to know) and to read the theology of female mystics that carved out a powerful role for women in Christianity. This book could be shelved in medieval history, in gender studies, in psychology—and that's precisely why I adore it. I also adore Bynum's introduction in this edition. A treasure trove of trivia, of thought-provoking people and ideas, this book is one of my all time favorites.
A classic of medieval studies, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200-1336 traces ideas of death and resurrection in early and medieval Christianity. Caroline Walker Bynum explores problems of the body and identity in devotional and theological literature, suggesting that medieval attitudes toward the body still shape modern notions of the individual. This expanded edition includes her 1995 article "Why All the Fuss About the Body? A Medievalist's Perspective," which takes a broader perspective on the book's themes. It also includes a new introduction that explores the context in which the book and article were written, as well as why the Middle Ages matter for how we think about the body and life after death today.
About the Author
Caroline Walker Bynum is University Professor Emerita at Columbia University and professor emerita of medieval European history at the Institute for Advanced Study. Her books include Holy Feast and Holy Fast The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women(1987); Metamorphosis and Identity (2001); Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond (2007); and Christian Materiality: An Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe (2011).