New Book | The Pathos of the Cross

Posted in books by Editor on June 10, 2014

According the the foreword, the book focuses on the period from 1600 to 1750. From Oxford UP:

Richard Viladesau, The Pathos of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts-The Baroque Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 368 pages, ISBN: 978-0199352685, £36 / $55.

9780199352685_450The Baroque period was in some senses the beginning of modern Western scientific and intellectual culture, the early budding of the Enlightenment. In the light of a new scientific and historical consciousness, it saw the rise of deism and the critique of traditional forms of Christianity. Secular values and institutions were openly or surreptitiously replacing the structures of traditional Christian society. At the same time, it was a time of religious renewal and of the reaffirmation of tradition. In sacred art, it was the age of of Bernini, Rubens, Van Dyck, Velazquez, and Rembrandt; in church music, the period of Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Handel, Telemann, and Bach. The pathos of Christ’s crucifixion—its power to evoke strong emotions of pity and compassion—was a central element in Baroque theology and spirituality. The sacred arts of the period reflect the centrality of this theme. Many of the works of the period retain their ability to move us emotionally and spiritually centuries later—even though the theology they represent has been challenged and frequently rejected. This volume traces the ways in which Roman Catholic and Protestant theologies of the period continued to proclaim the centrality of cross of Christ to human salvation. In a parallel movement, it illustrates how musical and artistic works of the period were both inspired and informed by these theologies, and how they moved beyond them in an aesthetic mediation of faith.

• Continues the historical theological/aesthetic survey of the first two volumes of this series
• Systematically examines the presence of theological themes in individual works of art and music of the Baroque period
• Is unique in its overview of the interrelationships of art and theology during a significant period of religious development
• Proposes the notion of ‘pathos’ as a means of summarizing the Baroque sensibility with regard to Christ’s passion

Richard Viladesau was ordained in 1969 in Rome for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He is Professor of Theology at Fordham University, since 1988, and Administrator of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Saltaire, New York.

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List of Illustrations
Introduction—The Social Context of the Baroque Period: The Beginnings of Modernity

Part I: The Survival of the Classical Paradigm of the Cross in Roman Catholicism
1 The Theoretical Mediation: The Cross in Baroque Tridentine Orthodoxy
2 The Aesthetic Mediation: The Cross in Baroque Catholic Art
3 The Aesthetic Mediation: The Passion in Catholic Music

Part II: The Cross in Protestant Orthodoxy
4 The Theological Mediation: Baroque Lutheran and Reformed Theology of the Cross
5 The Aesthetic Mediation: The Cross in Protestant Art
6 The Aesthetic Mediation: Protestant Passion Music

Part III: The Challenge to the Orthodox Doctrine of Redemption: The Enlightenment Paradigm
7 Challenges to the Classical Paradigm of the Cross and the Emergence of a New Paradigm of Salvation

Appendix 1: Virtual Museum
Appendix 2: Discography—Music of the Passion of the Baroque Era

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