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Chapter Summary

A study of early Christian art and architecture is immensely enhanced by knowledge of the history of theology and liturgy; at the same time a study of early Christian worship and doctrine is illuminated by attention to the physical settings and pictorial expression of the lived faith. A principle focus on monumental or material evidence hopefully provides new insight or perspective on the ritual's meaning to those who experienced it. The iconography and architectural setting of early Christian baptism reveals visible references to a visible ritual that effected a real (though invisible) transformation in the believer who received it. This study therefore considers the objects not only as historical documents that reveal information about actions of the past, or even symbols that convey the significance of those actions to participants, but artworks that have intrinsic value, beauty, purpose, and potency.

Keywords:Christian art; early Christian baptism; iconography



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    Living Water: Images, Symbols, and Settings of Early Christian Baptism — Recommend this title to your library
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