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3. Word And Image In Christian Rituals

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between verbal and visual elements in Christian liturgical rituals, and of the changes that this relationship has undergone in the past. One of author's main concerns is the complex relationship between various signs and symbols, both verbal and non-verbal, particularly words and images. The chapter draws largely on non-historical disciplines, such as cultural and social anthropology, philosophy of language and semiotics. It attempts to apply this point of departure to a crucial period in the history of western liturgy, that of the early Middle Ages, particularly the Merovingian and Carolingian era. It was in this period that the liturgical traditions of the city of Rome were introduced in northwestern Europe, a process which entailed an increasing emphasis on the non-verbal, and especially on the visual dimensions of liturgical celebrations.

Keywords: Carolingian era; Christian liturgical rituals; image; liturgical traditions; Merovingian era; Rome; verbal and visual elements; word



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