The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy
The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy explores the rich devotional life of the Italian household between 1450 and 1600. Rejecting the enduring stereotype of the Renaissance as a secular age, this interdisciplinary study reveals the home to have been an important site of spiritual revitalization. Books, buildings, objects, spaces, images, and archival sources are scrutinized to cast new light on the many ways in which religion infused daily life within the household. Acts of devotion, from routine prayers to extraordinary religious experiences such as miracles and visions, frequently took place at home amid the joys and trials of domestic life — from childbirth and marriage to sickness and death.
Breaking free from the usual focus on Venice, Florence, and Rome, The Sacred Home investigates practices of piety across the Italian peninsula, with particular attention paid to the city of Naples, the Marche, and the Venetian mainland. It also looks beyond the elite to consider artisanal and lower-status households, and reveals gender and age as factors that powerfully conditioned religious experience. Recovering a host of lost voices and compelling narratives at the intersection between the divine and the everyday, The Sacred Home offers unprecedented glimpses through the keyhole into the spiritual lives of Renaissance Italians.
Brundin, Abigail, Deborah Howard, and Mary Laven. The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy. Oxford University Press, 2018