Sight and Embodiment in the Middle Ages by S. Biernoff
By S. Biernoff
This booklet breaks new floor through bringing postmodern writings on imaginative and prescient and embodiment into discussion with medieval texts and photographs: an interdisciplinary process that illuminates and complicates either cultures. this can be a useful reference paintings for a person attracted to the background and concept of visuality, and it's crucial analyzing for students of artwork, technological know-how or spirituality within the medieval interval.
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The wandering foot and the undisciplined eye are slaves to curiosity. Ear and tongue serve vanity . . 108 This catalogue of corporealised vices would not appear out of place in a moralising account of the Plinian races. More importantly, though, the image of this ‘little old woman’ incessantly picking at her ulcerated flesh speaks of the passive body’s transmutation in response to the appetites of the flesh. The more the Will scratches her ‘itch’, the more it itches and suppurates, until her body is entirely transformed into a porous and libidinous surface.
It is in this sense—and not in the sense of flesh as transient corporeal existence— 28 S I G H T A N D E M B O D I M E N T I N T H E M I D D L E AG E S that ‘those who are in the flesh cannot please God’ (Rom. 8). Flesh, therefore, becomes a matter of orientation—even a disposition of the mind (Col. 18)—rather than the physical condition of being human. Sarx also begins to assume an agency or potency entirely foreign to the notion of ‘brute matter’. As A. C. 8,‘ “Flesh” here evaluates man as a sinner before God.
58 Sometimes the term refers specifically to the human body; more often it designates man in his entirety. However, having taken up the broader, holistic sense of ‘flesh’ present in the Old Testament, Paul elaborates it within an economy of sin. This shift can best be discerned in the concept of kata sarka, ‘according to the flesh’ or ‘after the flesh’ (2 Cor. 2–3; Rom. e. worldly, secular) concerns, values and attitudes: the sum of which are disparaged as the ‘wisdom of this age’ (1 Cor. 6). The alternative is to live kata pneuma, ‘according to the spirit’ (Rom.