An Analysis of Ernst H. Kantorwicz's The King's Two Bodies : A Study in Medieval Political Theology book cover
1st Edition

An Analysis of Ernst H. Kantorwicz's The King's Two Bodies
A Study in Medieval Political Theology

ISBN 9781912127115
Published July 19, 2017 by Macat Library
102 Pages

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Book Description

Few historians trace grand themes across many centuries and places, but Ernst Kantorowicz's great work on the symbolic powers of kingship is a fine example of what can happen when they do. The King's Two Bodies is at once a superb example of the critical thinking skill of evaluation – assessing huge quantities of evidence, both written and visual, and drawing sound comparative conclusions from it – and of creative thinking; the work connects art history, literature, legal records and historical documents together in innovative and revealing ways across more than 800 years of history. Kantorowicz's key conclusions (that history is at root about ideas, that these ideas power institutions, and that both are commonly expressed and understood through symbols) have had a profound impact on several different disciplines, and even underpin many works of popular fiction – not least The DaVinci Code. And they were all made possible by fresh evaluation of evidence that other historians had ignored, or could not see the significance of.

Table of Contents

Ways In to the Text 

Who was Ernst H. Kantorowicz?  

What does King's Two Bodies Say? 

Why does King's Two Bodies Matter?  

Section 1: Influences  

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context  

Module 2: Academic Context  

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas  

Module 6: Secondary Ideas  

Module 7: Achievement  

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work  

Section 3: Impact  

Module 9: The First Responses  

Module 10: The Evolving Debate  

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today  

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms  

People Mentioned in the Text  

Works Cited

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Dr Simon Thomson teaches at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. He received his doctorate in Medieval Literature from University College London and is the Editor, with M.D.J. Brintley, of Sensory Perception in the Medieval World: Manuscripts, Texts and Other Material Matters.