Online Lecture: ‘Becket: charismatic cathedral & sacred storytelling’ with Professors Paul Binski & Alixe Bovey, British Museum, 30 Jun 2021, 17.30–18.30 (BST)

Becket’s final days, murder, and posthumous career as a miracle-worker are among the best-documented episodes from the Middle Ages.

This conversation, between art historians Paul Binski and Alixe Bovey, will explore the way Becket’s universality as a martyr was embodied in the architecture of Canterbury Cathedral, evoking the heroic age of early Christian martyrdom. 

As the objects in the exhibition Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint reveal, Becket’s story was codified in word and image with extraordinary speed, in England and across Europe. What was the role of images and objects in promoting Becket’s cult, and how and why did Becket’s cult so rapidly come to define its age?

To attend this event

Book now(Opens in new window) to secure your place. We’re hosting the event on Zoom – a free video conferencing system that requires users to register in advance. If you do not already use Zoom, you can sign up using this registration link(Opens in new window).

If the event is fully booked, or you do not wish to use Zoom, you can also watch the event streamed live – as well as other events in the series – on the Museum’s live events YouTube channel(Opens in new window).

Register for your place here.

About the speakers

Paul Binski is Emeritus Professor of the History of Medieval Art at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Caius College. He writes widely on the visual arts in the Middle Ages, and his many books include Becket’s Crown: Art and Imagination in Gothic England, 11701300 (Yale University Press 2004).

Professor Alixe Bovey is a Canadian medieval art historian. She’s currently Dean and Deputy Director and the Head of Research at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London University. Bovey is also a member of the Fabric Advisory Committee of Canterbury Cathedral.


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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