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Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium: The Ambiguity of Religious Experience (Hardback)
  • Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium: The Ambiguity of Religious Experience (Hardback)
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Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium: The Ambiguity of Religious Experience (Hardback)

(author)
£28.95
Hardback 244 Pages / Published: 23/09/2016
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In the Roman and Byzantine Near East, the holy fool emerged in Christianity as a way of describing individuals whose apparent madness allowed them to achieve a higher level of spirituality. Youval Rotman examines how the figure of the mad saint or mystic was used as a means of individual and collective transformation prior to the rise is Islam.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674057616
Number of pages: 244
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 156 x 235 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Rotman's approach and interpretation are bold and novel--Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium gives a central and decisive role to psychology in interpreting the historical phenomenon of holy fools. This is an intriguing and inspiring book that will have a profound impact.--Kostis Smyrlis, New York University
Youval Rotman's Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium is a book likely to appeal more to the theoretician than to the Byzantinist. His rich collage of theories, spanning from psychology to literary criticism and from sociology to theater studies, is indeed stimulating and exciting...The author has charted a new analytical space for us through his composite of history, psychology, and religious studies.-- (04/03/2017)
Youval Rotman's book is a sophisticated and ambitious exercise in applying a number of current psychological theories to historic--Byzantine period--data in order to draw broad conclusions about religious experience and cultural change. For the most part, Rotman pulls this off impressively...Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium is an impressive and important book. I am particularly sympathetic to the application of group psychology to historical data, and I believe that Rotman provides the best possible justification for applying those specific psychological methods.-- (11/01/2017)
The title Insanity and Sanctity in Byzantium: The Ambiguity of Religious Experience does not quite prepare you for the contents of Youval Rotman's book. This is not a criticism, but a warning not to assume and pass by, missing excellence...To see running side by side the events on the ground, the accounts of most of the leading scholars in the field, and the relevant contributions of prominent theorists--psychological, sociological, and literary--is a great stimulus to new thinking and a valuable addition.-- (04/01/2018)

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