New Publication: The Notion of Liminality and the Medieval Sacred Space, edited by Ivan Foletti & Katarína Kravčíková

The thematic frame of this issue is the anthropological notion of liminality, applied both to physical as well as imaginary places of transition in medieval art. The volume is thus dedicated to the phenomenon of the limen, the threshold in medieval culture, understood mainly as a spatial, ritual and temporal category. The structure of the book follows the virtual path of any medieval visitor entering the sacred space. While doing so, the visitor encountered and eventually crossed several “liminal zones” that have been constructed around a series of physical and mental thresholds. In order to truly access the sacred – once again both physically and metaphorically – many transitional (micro)rituals were required and were therefore given particular attention within this volume. The volume was published as proceedings of the Liminality and Medieval Art II conference, which was held in October 2018 at the Masaryk University in Brno. Authors were supposed to conceive their contributions in pairs in order to reflect on the selected topics with an interdisciplinary approach. In the end, the very same pattern was also maintained for the final publication.

Table of Contents

Liminality and Medieval Art. From Space to Rituals and to the Imagination – Klára Doležalová & Ivan Foletti


Closed Doors as Bearers and Constructors of Images. Santa Sabina in Rome and Notre Dame du Puy – Ivan Foletti & Katarína Kravčíková

Constructing Liminal Space? Curtains in Late Antique and Early Medieval Churches – Sible De Blaauw & Klára Doležalová

Liturgical Screens, East and West. Liminality and Spiritual Experience – Vlad Bedros & Elisabetta Scirocco

The Depiction of the Acta Martyrum During the Early Middle Ages. Hints from a Liminal Space, the Transept of Santa Prassede in Rome (817–824) – Chiara Croci

Tabulae cum portis, vela, cortinae and sudaria. Remarks on the Liminal Zonesin the Liturgical and Para-Liturgical Contexts in the Late Middle Ages – Jan Klípa & Eliška Poláčková

“Blessed Are the Eyes Which See Divine Spirit Through the Letter’s Veil.” The Book as Object and Idea John Mitchell & Nicholas Pickwoad

Order the book here.

Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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