Death and the Afterlife in Byzantium: The Fate of the Soul in Theology, Liturgy, and Art

Death and the Afterlife in Byzantium: The Fate of the Soul in Theology, Liturgy, and Art

by Vasileios Marinis


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For all their reputed and professed preoccupation with the afterlife, the Byzantines had no systematic conception of the fate of the soul between death and the Last Judgement. Death and the Afterlife in Byzantium marries for the first time liturgical, theological, literary, and material evidence to investigate a fundamental question: what did the Byzantines believe happened after death? This interdisciplinary study provides an in-depth analysis and synthesis of hagiography, theological treatises, apocryphal texts and liturgical services, as well as images of the fate of the soul in manuscript and monumental decoration. It also places the imagery of the afterlife, both literary and artistic, within the context of Byzantine culture, spirituality, and soteriology. The book intends to be the definitive study on concepts of the afterlife in Byzantium, and its interdisciplinary structure will appeal to students and specialists from a variety of areas in medieval studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107139442
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/22/2016
Pages: 214
Product dimensions: 7.28(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Vasileios Marinis is Associate Professor of Christian Art and Architecture at Yale University, Connecticut. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including the Aidan Kavanagh Prize for Outstanding Scholarship at Yale University, a fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, the S. C. and P. C. Coleman Senior Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, a membership at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey,and a Humboldt fellowship at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munchen. Professor Marinis has published on a variety of topics ranging from early Christian tunics decorated with New Testament scenes to medieval tombs, graffiti, and Byzantine transvestite nuns. He is the author of Architecture and Ritual in the Churches of Constantinople (Cambridge, 2014).

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Theologies: 1. The invention of traditions: Jewish and Christian apocrypha; 2. The diversity of the afterlife in Late Antiquity; 3. Continuity, systemization, and encyclopedism in the Middle Byzantine period; 4. Visualizing the afterlife; 5. Late Byzantium and the encounter with the West; Part II. Liturgies: 6. The afterlife of the soul in liturgical services; 7. Helping and remembering the soul: liturgical commemorations and prayers; 8. Two exceptional services; Conclusions.

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