At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


Fulton, Rachel. From judgment to passion: devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary, 800-1200. Columbia. 676p bibl indexes afp ISBN 0-231-12550-X, $40.00.

Choice: "Fulton's sophisticated analysis of medieval prayer and liturgy reexamines the medieval conceptions of judgment, passion, and salvation, and presents valuable new insights into the development of the cult of the suffering Jesus and the compassionate Virgin Mary. This is truly an important book. Summing Up: Highly recommended." Church History: “This is an extremely ambitious book. If the project falls somewhat short, it is not for any lack of scholarly erudition, insightful reading, or graceful writing. It is simply that the reader cannot help but be reminded that Fulton is following closely in her mentor’s footsteps. The result is a study that is as humane as it is eloquent, as methodologically sophisticated as it is historically empathetic. Fulton provides detailed analyses of numerous major authors and texts. Her reading of these works is insightful and compelling. Less successful, in my view, are Fulton’s attempts to specify the cause of various events and movements in her historical account.” First Things: “Brings together an astonishing range of materials. Her thesis gets lost in the massiveness of the texts discussed, but the book nonetheless provides a richly informative tour.” Library Journal: “The book offers remarkable depth as well as breadth in a most commendable manner, though the sheer size makes this a daunting undertaking for the reader. Recommended for scholarly history and religion collections.” Publishers Weekly: “An intellectual tour de force. Fulton’s argument is sometimes obscured by jargon, but she paints in breathtaking strokes a gorgeous tapestry of the loyal devotion to the Man of Sorrows and the Mater Dolorosa.” Journal of Religion: “Magisterial. A distinguished contribution. However, I did not find the pre-Anselmian experiments in compassion in the book. Though essentially a chapter in the history of empathy, Fulton’s book also brings welcome contributions to the history of scriptural exegesis. Throughout her book, she deploys an admirable array of up-to-date forensic skills, enriched by a discerning measure of contemporary literary theory."


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