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Taming Anger's Daughters: New Treatment for Emotional Problems in Renaissance Spain

Maureen Flynn
Renaissance Quarterly
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Autumn, 1998), pp. 864-886
DOI: 10.2307/2901748
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2901748
Page Count: 23
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Taming Anger's Daughters: New Treatment for Emotional Problems in Renaissance Spain
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Abstract

A growing appreciation for the physiological dimensions of human behavorial problems is evident in Renaissance therapeutics. Both physicians and moral philosophers came to admit that passionate impulses like blasphemy and fist-fighting frequently erupted prior to conscious thought. Instead of relying exclusively on ascetic discipline and rational reflection as means to subdue undesirable emotions, post-medieval therapeutics added a number of mood-altering techniques such as music, dance, conversation, baths, and meditation on graphic images. The psychological premise of the new morality of the Renaissance was not flight from the body but respectful acceptance of its passionate interests.

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