Passion Relics and the Medieval Imagination
Art, Architecture, and Society
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Publisher: University of California Press
Number of Pages: 176
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 20.3 cm
Although objects associated with the Passion and suffering of Christ are among the most important and sacred relics venerated by the Catholic Church, this is the first study that considers how they were presented to the faithful. Cynthia Hahn adopts an accessible, informative, and holistic approach to the important history of Passion relics-first the True Cross, and then the collective group of Passion relics-examining their display in reliquaries, their presentation in church environments, their purposeful collection as centerpieces in royal and imperial collections, and finally their veneration in pictorial form as Arma Christi. Tracing the ways that Passion relics appear and disappear in response to Christian devotion and to historical phenomena, ranging from pilgrimage and the Crusades to the promotion of imperial power, this groundbreaking investigation presents a compelling picture of a very important aspect of late medieval and early modern devotion.