First Annual Lecture in Religion, Theology and Visual Culture:
(Dr Lucy Wooding, King’s College, London)
12 March 2014, 5:15pm
The Chapel, St Chad’s College, Durham University
‘Call to mind, O sinfull creature, and set before thine eyes Christ crucified.’
In the late medieval church, bodily sight and spiritual sight worked together to comprehend and assimilate religious experience. This lecture will examine the relationship between the bodily eye, and the spiritual eye in the religious culture of the fifteenth century and ask what happened to that relationship during the English Reformation of the sixteenth century. It will argue that historians need a deeper understanding of what it meant to ‘see’ Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, in an age when the boundaries between physical and intellectual modes of experience were as permeable as the boundary between visual media and printed text. It will suggest that Reformation ideas about the use of images were more complicated, imaginative and unexpected than is often appreciated, and remained deeply rooted in the medieval understanding of both vision and memory.
This event is jointly organized by the Department of Theology and Religion and the Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures.