Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Croch saithir: Envisioning Christ on the cross in the early medieval West

An interdisciplinary conference exploring the representational strategies adopted for the depiction of the defining moment in the Christian tradition that is the Crucifixion.

As far as the medieval world was concerned, Ireland represented the very ends of the earth. The peripheral lands were perceived to be inconstant in their practice and unorthodox in their faith. Despite this, there were certain constants of universal significance across the Christian world. One such constant was Christ’s crucifixion, which represented a defining moment central to every branch of Christian theology. Yet even this was interpreted in ways divergent enough to cause controversy and the image of Christ on the cross was represented by variant groups accordingly. The Passion is the moment when Christ’s divinity and his humanity are fully realised, and the synthesis of salvation and sacrifice is achieved. Christ in glory resonates through text and image across the early medieval West; less well documented is the hardship of the cross, the croch saithir. Widespread monumental images of Christ’s Passion in Ireland precede such appearances elsewhere in Continental Europe, early Irish literature is also the first recorded vernacular, and thus has to establish an appropriate register and authority. The unique tension created by these developments encouraged and required a creative response to Christiological concerns. That response was the inception of a textual and material culture that revelled in the multivalent readings to be found in the moment of Christ upon the cross. This conference invites new responses to depictions of Christ’s Passion in a variety of texts and images from both centre and periphery, including Rome, the Carolingian Empire, the Iberian Peninsula and the Insular world. Topics to be addressed include: • Liturgical responses to the rituals of Holy Week • Texts and their accompanying manuscript images • Sacred space • Audience, response and participation • Blending of traditions • Devotional piety • Public and private spheres • Performance • Materials

Category: Conferences: Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Time: 9am - 6pm
Location: West Wing 6, Main Quadrangle
Target Audience: All Welcome
Admission Price: € 50 registration, €25 student registration
Contact: Juliet Mullins
021 4902098

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University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

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