The Allegory Of The Church

Overview

Verse inscriptions in stone appeared in abundance on the façades of Romanesque churches in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Marking the place where medieval worshippers were transported from secular to sacred space, portal verse inscriptions provide important, and often overlooked, insights into the dynamic function of the portals and their art.

"The Allegory of the Church" is the first full-length study of Romanesque verse inscriptions in the context of church portals and portal sculpture, and is the product ...

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Overview

Verse inscriptions in stone appeared in abundance on the façades of Romanesque churches in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Marking the place where medieval worshippers were transported from secular to sacred space, portal verse inscriptions provide important, and often overlooked, insights into the dynamic function of the portals and their art.

"The Allegory of the Church" is the first full-length study of Romanesque verse inscriptions in the context of church portals and portal sculpture, and is the product of a twenty-year study. Calvin B. Kendall demonstrates how these inscriptions served to express the role of the church building as a concrete allegory of Christ and the Church. Describing them in detail, he traces the history and nature of the changes in allegorical interpretation of the inscriptions until, as medieval assumptions about language and rhetoric changed, they were finally abandoned by Gothic artists.

An exemplary work of interdisciplinary scholarship, "The Allegory of the Church" includes a detailed catalogue of Romanesque verse inscriptions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442613096
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Pages: 458
  • Product dimensions: 0.93 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Calvin B. Kendall is Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of English, University of Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations, Text Figures, and Maps
Preface
Pt. 1 The Making of Meaning
1 The Allegory of the Church 3
Pt. 2 The Early History of Christian Verse Inscriptions
2 Constantine and the Mosaics of Rome 21
3 Portal Inscriptions, Liminal Transformation, and the Creation of Sacred Space 33
Pt. 3 Visions and Voices: Allegorizing the Romanesque Church
4 'I am the door': Typological Allegory and the Design of the Romanesque Portal 51
5 The Voice of Allegory: Language and Form in Romanesque Verse Inscriptions 69
6 The Portal as Christ: Personification or Real Presence? 80
7 Portal Inscriptions as 'Performatives' 92
8 Conditional Transcendence: Movement between the Literal and Spiritual Levels of the Allegory of the Church 99
9 Anagogical Allegory and Imagery: Gate of Heaven, Gate of Life, Fountain of Life 109
10 Moral Allegory: Admonitory and Pax Portals and the Tympanum of Jaca 122
11 Visions of Allegory: The Archivolts of Aquitaine 139
Pt. 4 Secular Transformations
12 The Search for the New: Politics, Pilgrimage, and Economics 155
13 Artists and the Pursuit of Fame 171
14 Allegory Undone: Patronage and the Shift to Representational Symbolism 185
Catalogue of Romanesque Verse Inscriptions 197
Notes 301
Bibliography of Works Cited 355
Index 379
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