Heaven, Hell and Damnation in the Medieval Imagination

This short course traces the development of early Christian thinking about the nature of the Universe and the End Times. Recognising the signs that heralded the Last Days and preparing oneself for what followed after death was paramount. Various natural disasters such as plague, famine and war were seen as portents of the End. Such fears may explain the production of illustrated apocalypses that reached its apogee during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Apocalypse of St John (Book of Revelation) inspired the rise of apocalyptic art which encompassed themes including the Antichrist, the Day of Judgment and the New Jerusalem.

We will see how Dante’s Divine Comedy influenced the depiction of heaven, hell and paradise in the later Middle Ages and end the course by reflecting on the impact of the Reformation on apocalyptic thought. 

15 credits at level 4

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First class: Wed 25-Apr-18 6pm-8pm

Class location Central London
Class code SSHC447H4AAA

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