The Anthropomorphic Lens: Anthropomorphism, Microcosmism and Analogy during the Early Modern Period

Walter S. Melion, co-editor, Bret Rothstein, co-editor, Michel Weemans, co-editor
Publication Date
2014
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Series: Intersections, Volume: 34

Editors: Walter Melion, Bret Rothstein, and Michel Weemans

Anthropomorphism – the projection of the human form onto the every aspect of the world – closely relates to early modern notions of analogy and microcosm. What had been construed in Antiquity as a ready metaphor for the order of creation was reworked into a complex system relating the human body to the body of the world. Numerous books and images - cosmological diagrams, illustrated treatises of botany and zoology, maps, alphabets, collections of ornaments, architectural essays – are entirely constructed on the anthropomorphic analogy. Exploring the complexities inherent in such work, the interdisciplinary essays in this volume address how the anthropomorphic model is fraught with contradictions and tensions, between magical and rational, speculative and practical thought.

Contributors include Pamela Brekka, Anne-Laure van Bruaene, Ralph Dekoninck, Agnès Guiderdoni, Christopher P. Heuer, Sarah Kyle, Walter S. Melion, Christina Normore, Elizabeth Petcu, Bertrand Prevost, Bret Rothstein, Paul Smith, Miya Tokumitsu, Michel Weemans, and Elke Werner.