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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book Spirits Unseen: The Representation of Subtle Bodies in Early Modern European Culture contains the table of contents, acknowledgements, notes on the editors of the book, list of contributors of the book, and preface. In medieval and early modern culture ?spirits? (spiritus) or ?subtle bodies? were frequently pictured as vapours or gaseous substances. The imagery of vapours and fumes indicated both ? the airy, volatile, highly refined and subtle quality of ?spirits? in distinction to ordinary matter and the liminal place of ?subtle bodies?, at the threshold of the incorporeal and immaterial realms, at the very edge of the visible, perceptible and tangible. The book asks after specific meanings and uses of spiritus in a variety of historical settings and disciplinary fields: in physiology, psychology, alchemy, theology, demonology, art theory, music theory and the literature on love.

Keywords: early modern culture; medieval culture; spirits; subtle bodies



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