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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the historiographical and methodological traditions that have informed our understanding of the place of material culture in the study of medieval Christianity, and examines recent theoretical trends around the analysis of material culture itself. The chapter then turns to the analysis of some specific instances of material culture, examining the ways in which their materiality operates and is deployed, to demonstrate some possibilities of a material culture perspective. It argues that an understanding of material culture (not only art or devotional objects) is essential in the study of medieval Christianity, whilst making clear how complex the intersections between images, objects, ideas, and faith could be.

Keywords: Reliquaries, altars, choir screens, visuality, medieval material culture, devotion

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