Item Details

Sacral Geographies: Saints, Shrines and Territory in Medieval Ireland

Karen Eileen Overbey
Format
Book
Published
Turnhout, Belgium : Brepols, [2012]
Language
English
Series
Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages
ISBN
9782503527673, 2503527671
Summary
More than merely containers for holy bodies and objects, reliquaries powerfully mediated the experience of the sacred for their medieval audiences: they presented beautiful, glorified visions of the relics inside, and allowed devotees proximity to sacred space. The forms of reliquaries - from small enameled boxes to elaborately decorated shrines in the shapes of body parts - created identities and histories around holy objects. In medieval Ireland, it was often associative rather than corporeal relics that were enshrined: bells, books, staffs, and even pieces of clothing worn by holy men and women. These objects were the paraphernalia of Irish monasticism, and were carried in liturgical ceremonies, processions, and communal rituals. As enshrined relics, they became signifiers of ecclesiastical identity and authority, and located holy space within social space. Reliquaries such as the Domnach Airgid book shrine, the Shrine of St Culan's Bell, and St Manchßn's Shrine were portable, and their meaning was constituted in movement. The patrons of reliquaries, usually prominent secular rulers or Church leaders, employed performance, ritual, and narrative (both visual and textual) to reinforce the efficacy of relics and consequently, to authorize political relationships. The space of the holy body functioned as a foundation for the social geographies of early Ireland.
Sacral Geographies explores the spatiality of reliquaries in early Ireland, and the intersections of devotional loca sancta with the territories of secular kingship, with the hierarchies of medieval monastic enclosures, and with modern, institutional spaces of knowledge. --Book Jacket.
Contents
  • Making space
  • Holy ground: St Manchán's Shrine
  • Remapping the life of Colum Cille
  • The Domnach Airgid: inside & out
  • Bell relics and the monastic voice
  • Crosiers, relics, and the performance of territorial authority.
Description
xix, 258 pages : illustrations, maps ; 28 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Statement
Studies in the visual cultures of the Middle Ages ; vol. 2
Studies in the visual cultures of the Middle Ages ; v. 2
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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    a| More than merely containers for holy bodies and objects, reliquaries powerfully mediated the experience of the sacred for their medieval audiences: they presented beautiful, glorified visions of the relics inside, and allowed devotees proximity to sacred space. The forms of reliquaries - from small enameled boxes to elaborately decorated shrines in the shapes of body parts - created identities and histories around holy objects. In medieval Ireland, it was often associative rather than corporeal relics that were enshrined: bells, books, staffs, and even pieces of clothing worn by holy men and women. These objects were the paraphernalia of Irish monasticism, and were carried in liturgical ceremonies, processions, and communal rituals. As enshrined relics, they became signifiers of ecclesiastical identity and authority, and located holy space within social space. Reliquaries such as the Domnach Airgid book shrine, the Shrine of St Culan's Bell, and St Manchßn's Shrine were portable, and their meaning was constituted in movement. The patrons of reliquaries, usually prominent secular rulers or Church leaders, employed performance, ritual, and narrative (both visual and textual) to reinforce the efficacy of relics and consequently, to authorize political relationships. The space of the holy body functioned as a foundation for the social geographies of early Ireland.
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