Agents of Faith – Votive Objects in Time and Place
BGC Yale University Press
Offerings and tokens to express gratitude.
Infusing mundane objects with meaning and thus elevating them to another level.
The tome explores this practice and the objects that were made “ex voto” and casts its net wide across historical periods, religions, and cultures.
Roman Catholicism is a focus of this tome, as one would expect, but it gets interesting when not only individual religions are left behind but also religious belief. The book examines what inspires the creation of votive objects – the concerns, the hopes, the dreams, fears and how they have stayed the same as well as changed throughout the ages.
The sheer diversity of the votive objects, commonalities and differences of the age-old practice and its manifestations and the often very personal and idiosyncratic scenarios that inspired their inception before they become tokens enriched by the faith of millions, is fascinating.
Opulently illustrated and curated by Ittai Weinryb (Associate Professor at Bard Graduate Center) with Marianne Lamonaca (Chief Curator), and Caroline Hannah (Associate Curator at Bard Graduate Center Gallery), essays substantiated the feast for the eyes by exploring a variety of themes, time periods, and cultures.
Featuring hundreds of objects from two thousand years before Christ up to the twenty-first century from the new via the old to ancient worlds rooted in all of this earthround’s major religions make this book a thing of beauty and a votive object in itself.