Early Christians spent a lot of time with their dead. They carefully curated rites and memorial images that not only commemorated their deceased loved ones, but also connected and legitimized them with biblical narratives. The ritual practices of lament, the patronage of burials, and the care of the dead often fell to women. They were the physical and spiritual gatekeepers between life and death, but they were also the iconic initiatory figures for prophetic, even salvific acts.
Learn more in this Maxwell Institute Scholar Lecture.
About Catherine Taylor
Catherine Gines Taylor is a visiting scholar at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute and adjunct faculty in the Humanities department at Brigham Young University. She specializes in late antique Christian art history and iconography. Dr. Taylor holds graduate degrees from the University of Manchester and Brigham Young University. Her work is focused on the interdisciplinary study of art, scripture, lay piety, Christian patronage, and patristic texts. More specifically, her research centers on images of women in early Christian contexts. Her monograph on the iconography of the Annunciation is being published by Brill, 2017. Dr. Taylor’s current research investigates the typologies of Susanna and Wisdom on sarcophagi and within funerary contexts.
The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)