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Throughout the Middle Ages, John the Evangelist, identified as the author of both the Book of Revelation and the most profound and theologically informed of the four Gospels, provided monks and nuns with a figure of inspiration and an exemplar of vision and virginity. Rather than the historical apostle, this book's protagonist is a persona of the Evangelist established in theology, the liturgy, and devotional practice: the model mystic, who, by virtue of his penetrating insight, was seen as having become a mirror image of Christ.
In St. John the Divine, Jeffrey Hamburger identifies a remarkable set of images from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries that identify the inspired Evangelist so closely with the deity that he appears as his living image and embodiment. Hamburger explores the ways these representations of St. John in the guise of Christ elucidate the significance of images as such in medieval theology and mysticism. Above all, he shows how these artworks, presented together for the first time, epitomize the relationship between the visible and the invisible: between ideas, however abstract, and the concrete images that medieval Christians confronted face-to-face.
Preface and Acknowledgments
INTRODUCTION John as Model Mystic and Mystagogue
In principio": John as Theologian of the Logos
TWO "Theologus noster": The Deification of John
THREE "Joint Heirs with Christ": The Two St. Johns
FOUR "The Seal of Resemblance": Ezechiel and John
FIVE The Mirror of Wisdom: The Cult of St. John
SIX The Body and Blood of Christ: Mary’s Adopted Son
In His Image and Likeness": John in the Legatus divinae pietatis
EIGHT Images and the "Imago dei": Vision and the Theology of Deification
CONCLUSION "The Level Path of Likeness"
APPENDIX 1 "Verbum dei deo natum" from the Gradual of St. Katharinenthal, fols. 158av161r
APPENDIX 2 A Sermon for the Feast Day of John the Evangelist: Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität Basel, Ms. A VI 38, fols. 47r60r
Index of Biblical Citations