Munns John M., The cross of Christ and Anglo-Norman religious imagination

Munns John M., The cross of Christ and Anglo-Norman religious imagination, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. P. Binski, University of Cambridge)

Résumé/abstract :

This study explores the ideas and images of the cross of Christ – intellectual, devotional, ethical, liturgical and artistic – in England between the Norman invasion and the beginning of the thirteenth century. The first chapter considers the influence of Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), both in the articulation of the first systemic exposition of the atonement and in the development of affective devotional practice. Chapter Two will relate these, in turn, to two other late eleventh-century developments that were nurtured in the Anglo-Norman cultural milieu: the defence of the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the appearance of Trinitarian imagery in which the sacrificial offering of Christ on the cross is depicted as an eternal part of the divine life. Chapter Three will follow these developments into the twelfth century and explore their relationships to Cistercian spirituality and eremitic vocation.

In Part Two the remaining artistic evidence will provide the starting point for an art-historical exploration of the image of the crucified Christ. Chapters Four and Five survey the public image, representations in wall-painting, sculpture and metalwork and the use of the cross in liturgy and church furnishing. Chapter Six will consider the depiction of the passion and crucifixion in manuscript illumination, particularly in the ten substantial pictorial life-cycles of Christ to survive from twelfth-century England.

Part Three focuses on the period between the death of Thomas Becket in 1170 and the first decades of the thirteenth century. In Chapter Seven, Becket’s nurture of both ‘Anselmian’ devotion and an increasingly active cross-centred Christo-mimetic ethic will be demonstrated, and the subsequent rise in enthusiasm for pilgrimage and passion relics explored. The final chapter focuses on English engagement with the crusades and the Holy Land.

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