Book Launch: The Symbolism of Marriage in Early Christianity and the Latin Middle Ages: Images, Impact, Cognition
What can marriage symbolism tell us about representation and about cognition in the middle ages? In this book edited by Line Cecilie Engh, medievalists engage with both medieval and modern theories of representation and cognition to grapple with questions of the impact of marriage symbolism on ideas and practice in the early Christian and medieval period.
Marriage symbolism was omnipresent in early Christian and medieval cultures. Grounded on the idea of the union of Christ and church as a marriage, it pervaded theology, canon law, liturgy, monasticism, art, and preaching. Marriage symbolism shaped thought and practice regarding church relations and hierarchy, celibacy and virginity, devotion and salvation. It was evoked not only to shed light on the divine–human relationship but also to support moral claims about the estate of marriage and to show how marrying was one of the sacraments of the church. Can cognitive science help us understand better medieval symbolism and representation? Contrariwise, can the medieval practices tell us something today about how the human mind works?
Joining us at this book launch will be a main contributor to the book, Philip L. Reynolds, who was awarded the 2019 Haskins Medal of the Medieval Academy of America for his magisterial study How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments: The Sacramental Theology of Marriage from its Medieval Origins to the Council of Trent.
- Presentation of the book by Line Cecilie Engh (University of Oslo) and Philip L. Reynolds (Emory University)
- Comments by Kristin B. Aavitsland (MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society) and Stefka G. Eriksen (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research)
- Open discussion
Line Cecilie Engh is Associate Professor of History of Ideas at the University of Oslo. She was a fellow at The Norwegian Institute in Rome from 2008 to 2017. She is the author of Gendered Identities in Bernard of Clairvaux’s ‘Sermons on the Song of Songs’: Performing the Bride (2014) and numerous book chapters and articles on monastic and papal writing that focus on rhetoric, hermeneutics, metaphor, gender, and cognition.
The event is open to all, no registration required. Light refreshments. Welcome!