Understanding Jesus in the Early Modern Period and Beyond
Across Text and Other Media
Vol 5 No 1 | 2019
Editorial: Cristiana Facchini, Paola von Wyss-Giacosa
The exceptional and yet very human life of Jesus has been represented in a vast breadth of forms, from the visual to the textual, forming intertextual relationships that are highly complex in encompassing chronologically and geographically varied cultures. The aim of this specific issue is to provide insight into the representation of Jesus in the early modern age and beyond, deliberately extending the focus to overlooked media. In addition to the analysis of textual traditions embedded in prints, manuscripts and marginalia, as well as authorized and authorial perspectives, counter-narratives and challenging views, focusing on other forms and fields of representation such as visual material or archival sources are presented, in order to establish a more intricate picture of both multiple representations of and contrasting theories about the figure of Jesus. The emphasis on the medium – be it a manuscript, an illustration or a film – intends to encourage new modes of representing historical themes, which allow innovative interpretations and evaluation of the impact of scholarship on religion, shedding light on scholarship’s failures as well as on its ability to resonate with a wider public.
The collection of articles presented here contains various methodological lines of inquiry. At the same time, it brings together, albeit very selectively, the early modern and modern periods even up to the second half of the 20th century. This selection of case studies offers a composite view of varied, and often contrasting, practices of historiographical writing, which belong to different religious, anti-religious and neutral traditions that span across the centuries.