Cross and Culture in Anglo-Norman England

Cross and Culture in Anglo-Norman England

Theology, Imagery, Devotion

John Munns


Boydell Press



An examination of the passion and crucifixion of Christ as depicted in the visual and religious culture of Anglo-Norman England.
The twelfth century has long been recognised as a period of unusual vibrancy and importance, witnessing seminal changes in the inter-related spheres of theology, devotional practice, and iconography, especially with regard to the cross and the crucifixion of Christ. However, the visual arts of the period have been somewhat neglected, scholarly activity tending to concentrate on its textual and intellectual heritage.
This book explores this extraordinarily rich and vibrant visual and religious culture, offering new and exciting insights into its significance, and studying the dynamic relationships between ideas and images in England between 1066 and the first decades of the thirteenth century. In addition to providing the first extensive survey of surviving Passion imagery from the period, it explores those images' contexts: intellectual, cultural, religious, and art-historical. It thus not only enhances our understanding of the place of the cross in Anglo-Norman culture; it also demonstrates how new image theories and patterns of agency shaped the life of the later medieval church.

John Munns is a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge.


August 2016
12 colour, 61 black and white illustrations
360 pages
24x17 cm
Bristol Studies in Medieval Cultures
ISBN: 9781783271269
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC ART015030, ART035000, HIS037010
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Table of Contents

Part I: The Theology of the Cross, c. 1066-c. 1170
St Anselm, Affect, and the Site of Salvation
The Cross, the Trinity, and the Sacrifice of the Mass
The Art of Imitation
Part II: The Image of the Cross
In ecclesio media: The Public Image
Ecce homo: Liturgy and Exposition
Narrative and Contemplation in Manuscript Illumination
Part III: The Way of the Cross, c. 1170-c. 1215
Pilgrimage and Relics: Proximity to the Holy
Cross, Councils, and Crusade

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