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Imagination, Books and Community in Medieval Europe

Renkin, Claire (2008) Imagination, Books and Community in Medieval Europe. In: The Medieval Imagination, 29-31 May 2008, State Library of Victoria, Australia.


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Over the past quarter of a century scholarship on all aspects of the medieval cult of the saints has flourished. This is especially true in the study of female sanctity, as many scholars have drawn on a wide range of methods and approaches to deepen our understanding of snctity as it was expressed in texts, visual images and the liturgy.
In the field of art history, the study and interpretation of the artistic monuments of the past, whether in painting, sculpture or manuscript studies has benefited from the insights of a number of diverse disciplines. In addition to such traditional tools as stylistic analysis and iconography, art historians now look to anthropology, gender studies and literary theory (amongst other disciplines and fields), to enhance our study of the visual culture of the past, including the medieval era. One field that has been somewhat neglected by art historians, is that of theology. As Jeffrey Hamburger reminds us in his recent work, theology has much to contribute to how we shape our study of the past. In our secular age we are inclined to view theology as a monolithic set of truths that demand to be placed at the centre of intellectual pursuits. Hamburger, however, reminds us that in the late Middle Ages at least, there was no single theology, but rather competing 'theologies'. The intellectual and cultural life of late medieval people was arguably a good deal more complex than we allow.

Item Type: Conference Papers (Paper)
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Magdalen, Medieval Florence, art, theology, female sanctity, medieval cult of the saints
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
College/Association with University of Divinity: YTU: Yarra Theological Union
Depositing User: Cate Headey
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 00:01
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2011 15:41
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/736

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