This volume anatomizes the human hand as a rhetorical figure for dignity and deformity in early modern culture. It concerns a valuational shift from the contemplative ideal, as signified by the sense of touch. From posture to piety, from manicure to magic, the book seeks to discover touch in a critical period of its historical development, in anatomy and society. It features new interpretations of two landmarks of Western civilization: Michelangelo's fresco of the creation of Adam and Calvin's doctrine of election. It also accords special attention to the typing of women as sensual creatures by using their hands as a heuristic. The book's alternative interpretations explore in theory and in practice the sensuality, the creativity, and the plain ultilty of hands, thus integrating biology and culture.