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, ed. J. Eugene Clay. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 45. Turnhout: Brepols, 2020, xxiv, 168 pp., 2 b/w and 3 color ill.

by Albrecht Classen (Author)
2 Pages
Open Access
Journal: Mediaevistik Volume 34 Issue 1 pp. 272 - 273

Summary

Recent research has increasingly focused on the phenomenon of hybridity between animals and humans, with monsters situated somewhere in-between. Hence the title of this volume, in which the contributors examine medieval and early modern cases of animal-human interactions, though transhumanity, or transhumanity, as defined by the editor, J. Eugene Clay, Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University, who works primarily on religious movements in Russia and Eurasia, represents more a desire for or anticipation of the transition of humanity into a combination with computers or robots, which has not much to do at all with the issues addressed here. Instead, the focus rests on how animals were viewed in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and on how somewhat monstrous creatures were assessed (there are no monster-focused articles here). As fascinating as the new approach determined by Animal Studies might be, this is not really the emphasis by the contributors, not even to talk about “Posthumanism” (ix-xi), which has no relevance in this volume. But it makes sense, as Clay outlines, to consider the biblical and classical heritage to understand how medieval and early modern writers regarded animals in their interaction with people, who commonly identified themselves, as Eriugena already defined them, as non-animals (xvii). And yet, the borderline to beasts was thin, as the various examples discussed by the individual authors occasionally indicate.

Details

Pages
2
DOI
10.3726/med.2021.01.19
Open Access
CC-BY

Biographical notes

Albrecht Classen (Author)

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Title: , ed. J. Eugene Clay. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 45. Turnhout: Brepols, 2020, xxiv, 168 pp., 2 b/w and 3 color ill.