The Last Judgment by James A. Connor
Michelangelo and the Death of the Renaissance

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Painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, 28 years after Michelangelo completed the glorious and hopeful ceiling, The Last Judgment is full of stark images depicting the End of Days. James Connor uses the famous fresco as the lens by which to view the end of the Renaissance, arguing that Michelangelo's imagery and composition reflect the religious and political upheavals of the time.

Combining his flair for storytelling with incisive historical analysis, Connor demonstrates how the Counter-Reformation arose from the ashes of Renaissance Italy, and how that sea change altered the course of Western history.


About James A. Connor

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James A. Connor is the author of Kepler's Witch: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother and Silent Fire: Bringing the Spirituality of Silence to Everyday Life. A former Jesuit priest, Connor is professor of English at Kean University in Union, New Jersey; he has also held teaching posts at St. Louis University and Gonzaga University. He is a director of studies at the Lessing Institute in Prague. He holds degrees in geoscience, philosophy, theology, and creative writing, and a Ph.D. in literature and science. He is a prize-winning essayist published widely in such places as American Book Review, Traditional Home, Willow Springs, The Critic, The Iowa Review, and The Iowa Journal of Literary Studies.
Published June 23, 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade. 256 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Travel. Non-fiction

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Michelangelo did not want to create the Last Judgment (1537–1541), yet, argues Connor (Pascal's Wager ), it was his clearest expression of the “terror at the bottom of his psyche,” a terror stemming largely from the conflict between his probable homosexual desires and his religious faith.

May 11 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Judgment: Michelange...

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