The Symbolism of Marriage in Early Christianity and the Latin Middle Ages
The Symbolism of Marriage in Early Christianity and the Latin Middle Ages
Images, Impact, Cognition
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1 Introduction: A Case Study of Symbolic Cognition Line Cecilie Engh and Mark Turner 2 Conjugal and Nuptial Symbolism in Medieval Christian Thought Philip L. Reynolds 3 Marriage Symbolism and Social Reality in the New Testament: Husbands, Wives, Christ and the Church Anna Rebecca Solevåg 4 Single Marriage and Priestly Identity: A Symbol and Its Functions in Ancient Christianity David G. Hunter 5 'Put on the dress of a wife, so that you might preserve your virginity': Virgins, Brides, and Dress in Late Antiquity Karl Shuve 6 Veiled Threats: Constraining Religious Women in the Carolingian Empire Abigail Firey 7 Double Standards? Medieval Marriage Symbolism and Christian Views on the Muslim Paradise Alessandro Scafi 8 Marriage, Maternity and the Formation of a Sacramental Imagination: Stories for Cistercian Monks and Nuns around the Year 1200 Martha G. Newman 9 Marriage Symbolism in Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts: Visualization and Interpretation Marta Pavón Ramírez 10 'His left arm is under my head and his right arm shall embrace me': The Bride and the Bridegroom in Trastevere Lasse Hodne 11 Marriage in The Divine Office: Nuptial Metaphors in the Medieval Conception of the officium Sebastián Salvadó 12 What Kind of Marriage Did Pope Innocent III Really Enter into? Marriage Symbolism and Papal Authority Line Cecilie Engh 13 'Please don't mind if I got this wrong': Christ's Spiritual Marriage and the Law of the Late Medieval Western Church Wolfgang Müller Index

Reviews and Features

"The introduction to this important book points to what cognitive sciences can tell historians about how symbolism works. The exposition of "Conceptual Metaphor Theory" and "Blending Theory" (the preferred version of the co-author of the introduction, Mark Turner) deserves close attention from both historians and literary scholars. The potential for interdisciplinary insight is exciting and it may be hoped that much more research will follow along the path Engh has cut."
- D. L. d'Avray, The Medieval Review, April 2021

''These collected essays describe less how biblical and early Christian marriage symbolism influenced Western marriage, and more how it helped medieval people give expression to what is not marriage—including celibacy, virginity, power relations, and church hierarchy. [... T]he book’s unifying perspective, namely, blending theory, which has to do with how the human mind fashions its conceptual world by creatively blending concepts that, on the face of it, have little to do with each other, results in giving the whole collection an impressive sense of unity."
- W. Trent Foley, Church History, Davidson College .

Line Cecilie Engh (ed.)

The Symbolism of Marriage in Early Christianity and the Latin Middle Ages

Images, Impact, Cognition

In the Middle Ages everyone, it seems, entered into some form of marriage. Nuns - and even some monks - married the bridegroom Christ. Bishops married their sees. The popes, as vicars of Christ, married the universal Church. And lay people, high and low, married each other. What united these marriages was their common reference to the union of Christ and Church. Christ's marriage to the Church was the paradigmatic symbol in which all the other forms of union participated, in superior or inferior ways. This book grapples with questions of the impact of marriage symbolism on both ideas and practice in the early Christian and medieval period. In what ways did marriage symbolism - with its embedded concepts of gender, reproduction, household, and hierarchy - shape people's thought about other things, such as celibacy, ecclesial and political relations, and devotional relations? How did symbolic cognition shape marriage itself? And how, if at all, were these two directions of thinking symbolically about marriage related?

Line Cecilie Engh

Line Cecilie Engh is Associate Professor of History of Ideas at the University of Oslo. She was a fellow at The Norwegian Institute in Rome from 2008 to 2017. She is the author of Gendered Identities in Bernard of Clairvaux’s ‘Sermons on the Song of Songs’: Performing the Bride (2014) and numerous book chapters and articles on monastic and papal writing that focus on rhetoric, hermeneutics, metaphor, gender, and cognition.