Material objects must always be seen in context with the humans who created and used them. It is only possible to recognize and evaluate material culture in connection with human thought and behavior. The material world depends on the immaterial one, and vice versa. Neither sphere can exist without the other. In historical research, however, such contexts have not been considered regularly. In particular, the inter-connections between emotions and material culture have not been taken sufficiently into account in research. This was the reason for the “Institut für Realienkunde des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit” to organize a round-table-discussion on „Emotions and Material Culture“ and to publish its proceedings. The volume contains eleven contributions by specialists from eight countries. They show various possibilities to contextualize the material world and emotional behavior. They may be seen as a first step towards a “material emotionology” of the past. The complex results are intended to serve as a further impetus towards the systematic and comparative research into “emotional communities” and their material life in the Middle Ages and the early modern period.
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