Professor Cynthia Hahn will deliver the first talk in the 2015-2016 University Lectures on Religion series. She is Professor of Art History at Hunter College of The City University of New York. Her lecture, like all others in the Center for the Study of Religion-sponsored series, is free and open to all. There will be a brief question-and-answer session and a reception following the lecture.
Abstract: An ubiquitous but misunderstood historical and religious category, the relic, is constituted by material objects that serve a purpose that is distinctly opposite to their physical nature-- their presence is used to evoke memories and absent persons and events. Today most people assume that a relic is a bone from a body, but, after the Resurrection, Christ's body was not available. Instead, His blood and the instruments of torture of Christ’s Passion came to serve as witness and, without doubt, became the most coveted and powerful of all Christian relics. Already in Apostolic times, one among these, the cross, became the primary testimony to Christian memories of the Passion story. Three sources of information: scripture, liturgy, and the history of relics can help us understand its multivalent nature: as sign, liturgical object, and as relic and reliquary-- ultimately as one of the most coveted and powerful “things” of the middle ages.
View this lecture (m4v format)
For the full list of speakers in the 2015-2016 University Lectures on Religion series, please visit http://religion.osu.edu/news/university-lectures-2015-2016-announced.