Premodern rulership and contemporary political power
Theologians, historians, and jurists interpreted the king and his kingdom as a corporal reality, the body politic. The idea of the monarch as the embodiment of the community emerged from medieval European culture and endured for centuries, leaving a legacy that continues to affect political discourse. Within this book, thirteen essays provide case studies from premodern and contemporary European cultures that demonstrate the process by which political corporations, 'bodies politic', were and continue to be constructed and challenged. Drawing upon the disciplines of history, archaeology, literary criticism, and art history, the contributors to this book survey a wide geographical and chronological spectrum to offer a panoramic view of such dynamic political entities. Taking inspiration from, while simultaneously reassessing, Ernst Kantorowicz's masterpiece, The King's Two Bodies, these contributors urge us to reflect on problems deriving from nationalist discourses, social inequalities, and rigid ideologies.