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Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures & Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (Anglais) Relié – 9 septembre 2013

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Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures & Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs + The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses
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Amazon.com: 76 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Heavenly Bodies is truly a fun read 27 octobre 2013
Par docmartin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The author makes this fascinating, but relatively unstudied field surprisingly accessible to the reader. After I finished reading it, my friend's 16 year old daughter picked it up and could not put it down for hours. Beyond the substantive content, the pictures are simply amazing, and it makes for an awesome conversation piece/coffee table book.
My girlfriend is always trying to get me interested in art books, often (with the exceptional ocassion) without much sucess, mostly because of the pretentious writing that tends to seep into these types of publications. Paul Koudounaris' writing is different: not only acessible, but truly fun and entertaining, yet still informative and fascinating. I suppose one has to, when writing about the fun and the beauty in death, and I'd much rather self-educate with a smile.
24 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
SPECTACULAR 27 septembre 2013
Par A. Ashbaugh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is just stuffed with gobs of full color pictures of heavily, *insanely* over-decorated, bedazzled, Counter Reformation skeletonised saints. Lots of close ups, too. If you like skeletons, holy relics, sparkly things, and the baroque, then this is the book for you. It's definitely the book for me.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Gruesome Beauty 26 novembre 2013
Par Jean E. Pouliot - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
There's a good chance that your average Catholic might have run into relics -- the stray skull, vertebrae or finger bones of some long-dead saint. But complete human skeletons? And dressed up in gold and silver thread, precious gems, bejeweled armor and sumptuous robes? And displayed in public for all to see?

Not so much.

In what might be a spectacle worthy of a horror movie, many of these relics, on display in churches throughout southern Germany, are documented by Paul Koudounaris in his extraordinary book, "Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs." With dozens of full-page, beautifully-composed photographs as well as accessible, well-researched prose, Koudounaris tells the story of the Katakombenheiligen or Catacomb Saints. These were the supposed skeletons of Christians martyrs spirited out of Rome's catacombs from the 1600s to the 1800s, and destined to replace precious relics destroyed during the Reformation. Whether the bones could be proven to be martyrs or even Christian mattered little; the fact that they were Roman was enough to merit a trip beyond the Alps. After their "translation," or travel from Rome, they were cleaned, assembled, dressed, bejeweled, posed and displayed in churches in the German speaking world. Since in many cases the bones came without provenance, they were often named by their new owners -- either after a popular patron of a local monastery, for some virtue (St. Fortunatus, St. Felicity) or their lack of a name (St. Incognito). These town patrons were regularly removed from their niches and paraded through town for veneration, a few even in modern times.

Koudounaris brings alive a time when gruesome displays of the dead were an aid to faith. Whether you believe in the power of relics or not, the work done to them was exquisite and startling. There's nothing like seeing a skull, with jewels placed in its eye sockets, staring back at you. Koudounaris also traces the history of the Catacomb Saints into the modern era, starting in the 1800s, when such displays were increasingly deemed tasteless, even to Catholic sensibilities. Indeed, many of the Catacomb Saints now languish behind discrete covers, or in dusty backrooms under broken furniture and other liturgical detritus.

I found the text of "Heavenly Bodies" stark, honest and unsparing but never dismissive. And that even tone helped me to inhabit the mind of those who once found such treasures to be -- not off-putting and tasteless -- but a moving testament to faith in the resurrection.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beautiful 19 octobre 2013
Par Martijn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
A great book that couldn't go wrong for me as it beautifully combines 2 of my interests: photography and history. The photos are beautiful and the text is very informative. The only 'gripe' with my book is that isn't bigger! I'd love a 'jumbo' version of this book.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Expecting For More 31 janvier 2014
Par Bookworm70 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The first book of Dr. Koudanaris gave us an in depth treatment
of the Ossuaries from the different parts of the World. It was
a good work.

However, Heavenly Bodies failed to deliver the same scholarly expertise.
Theses topics were already discussed in other books and I was expecting
more stories about the Catacomb Saints. Although the reproduction of the
pictures was well done, but almost limited.

I am still looking forward for the Bibliography consulted for this work.
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