Death and rebirth was of vital importance to early Christians in late antiquity. In late antiquity, death was all encompassing. Mortality rates were high, plague and disease in urban areas struck at will, and one lived on the knife’s edge regarding one’s health. Religion filled a crucial role in this environment, offering an option for those who sought cure and comfort. Following death, the inhumed were memorialized, providing solace to family members through sculpture, painting, and epigraphy. This book offers a sustained interdisciplinary treatment of death and rebirth, a theme that early Christians (and scholars) found important. By analysing the theme of death and rebirth through various lenses, the contributors deepen our understanding of the early Christian funerary and liturgical practices as well as their engagement with other groups in the Empire.
Lee M. Jefferson is the Nelson D. and Mary McDowell Rodes Associate Professor of Religion at Centre College.
Lee M. Jefferson
1. Death and Rebirth within North African Montanism
2. The Church as the Locus of Miracles: Santa Sabina and Revisiting the Staff of Jesus in Early Christian Art
3. Wearing the Cross: Macrina, the Cross, and Co-Crucifixion
4. Altar-ed Arks: Form as (Theological) Function in Late Antique and Early Medieval Reliquaries
Jennifer Awes Freeman
5. Marriage and Martyrdom in Roman North Africa: Augustine and Crispina of Tebessa
David G. Hunter
6. “Bring Out Yer Dead”: A Funerary Ritual Koine and Its Christian Dialects from Little Traditions to a Great Tradition
7. Apostolic Posture: Mary Magdalene as Witness to Death and Resurrection in Art
8. Reuniting after Death, Defining Familial Piety in Life: A Case of Rhetoric in Word and Image
Mark D. Ellison
9. Undead Apostles and The Development of Cultic Practices
David L. Eastman
10. To Die for God: Sacrifice, Eucharist, and Martyrdom in Ignatius of Antioch
11. Crosses, Snakes, and Tunics: St. Lawrence and Other Martyrs
Annewies van den Hoek and John Herrmann, Jr.
This rich collection of studies, ranging from cross amulets to funeral processions, each adroitly working across material and textual cultures, makes a fitting tribute to Robin Jensen and her legacy in the study of early Christianity.
This is a signal collection of fresh essays on early Christian art in honour of Robin Margaret Jensen, perhaps the most major voice in the field of her generation. Written by visual and patristic experts and extensively illustrated, the papers place a series of themes germane to early Christian art within a wider social and cultural context.
This volume brings together the work of eleven scholars on various themes of death and rebirth in early Christianity. The articles celebrate the excellent contributions of Robin Jensen, whose pioneering work has re-tooled the field to include material evidence, including art, archaeology, and ritual. The volume presents articles whose innovative scholarship sheds new light on familiar ancient Christian texts, offering different perspectives. As such, it is a fitting tribute.
Robin Jensen is one of the most eminent scholars of Early Christianity and has left a wide impact with her publications and her teaching. It is wonderful that both the scholar and the warm-hearted person is honored with contributions centered around one of the great themes of late antiquity, death and resurrection. The chapters, worked meticulously and inspired by a common love of research and friendship, add new and important insights. Honor to whom honor is due!
This collection of essays is a rich and fitting tribute to Robin Jensen, whose work has so well illuminated the way art contributes to understanding early Christianity. In delving into the theme of death and rebirth in Christian iconography, inscriptions and literature the authors of these essays provide new insights that shed even more light on this fascinating and foundational era.