In a historic panorama that moves deftly from Plato and St. Paul to the Cantigas de Santa Maria to Emile Nolde, what stands out most vividly are Nirenberg’s masterly analyses of individual works. Through the Madrid Throne of Grace, Chaucer’s Prioress’ Tale, and Ernst Kantorowicz’s The King’s Two Bodies, among others, these demonstrate his astounding thesis that the gap between actual things and transcendent truth has perpetually been bridged in Christian culture by evoking Judaism as an aesthetic category.