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Art and the Sacred in the Middle Ages


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Tutor: Robert Maniura
  • Assessment: a 3000-word essay (60%) and three-hour take-home examination (40%)

Module description

This module explores the role of art in the articulation of the sacred in the Middle Ages. Art tended to cluster around places held to be in some sense holy, from the sites of Old Testament and Gospel events to the locations of the bodies and relics of the saints and the touch relics and images of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Such sites had more than what would now be understood as a purely religious significance, being invoked to legitimise kingship and to act as the focus of growing urban communities, and offering the promise of deliverance from illness as well as the promise of salvation. The module will study works in a wide range of media and will consider how they constructed some of the most celebrated sites in Christian culture.