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The Origins of Protestant Aesthetics in Early Modern Europe
Calvin's Reformation Poetics


  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108493352

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • The aesthetics of everyday life, as reflected in art museums and galleries throughout the western world, is the result of a profound shift in aesthetic perception that occurred during the Renaissance and Reformation. In this book, William A. Dyrness examines intellectual developments in late Medieval Europe, which turned attention away from a narrow range liturgical art and practices and towards a celebration of God's presence in creation and in history. Though threatened by the human tendency to self-assertion, he shows how a new focus on God's creative and recreative action in the world gave time and history a new seriousness, and engendered a broad spectrum of aesthetic potential. Focusing in particular on the writings of Luther and Calvin, Dyrness demonstrates how the reformers' conceptual and theological frameworks pertaining to the role of the arts influenced the rise of realistic theater, lyric poetry, landscape painting, and architecture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

    • Presents ways that Reformation and Calvin in particular played a constructive role in the development of culture
    • Argues for a broader understanding of aesthetics with roots in this period, as in part a development of medieval devotional trends
    • Provides a fresh approach to understanding the arts in the period of the Reformation
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108493352
    • length: 242 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the medieval context of the Reformation
    2. Like and presence in Holbein, Luther and Cranach
    3. John Calvin: creation, drama and time
    4. Calvin, language and the rise of literary culture
    5. Portraits and dramatic culture in sixteenth century England
    6. The emerging aesthetics of early modern England: a new world with echoes of the past
    7. The new visual culture of reformed Holland and France
    8. Epilogue: the cultural afterlife of Protestant aesthetics.

  • Author

    William A. Dyrness, Fuller Theological Seminary, California
    William A. Dyrness is Senior Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, California. A scholar of the art and religion of Reformation Europe, he is the author of Reformed Theology and Visual Culture: The Protestant Imagination from Calvin to Edwards (Cambridge, 2004) and most recently, Poetic Theology, God, and the Poetics of Everyday Life (2010).

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