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Art and the Christian Apocrypha

The Christian canon of scripture known as the New Testament excluded many of the church's traditional stories about its origins. These apocrypha included well-known tales such as those of the ox and the ass at the Nativity, the Assumption of the Virgin, and the martyrdoms of St Peter and St Paul. Although not in the Bible, these popular stories have had a powerful influence on the church's traditions and theology, and a particularly marked effect on visual representations of Christian belief. This book provides a lucid introduction to the relationship between the apocryphal texts and the paintings, mosaics, and sculpture in which they are frequently paralleled, and which have been so significant in transmitting these non-Biblical stories to generations of churchgoers. It reveals the enduring power of the Christian apocrypha in both text and art, and displays the artworks themselves in a new light. The volume contains more than 100 plates, and numerous extracts from the apocryphal texts.
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Table of Contents

Preface Table of Illustrations Introduction 1. Text, Art and the Christian Apocrypha 2. Mary 3. Images of Christ 4. The Life and Mission of Jesus 5. Paul, Thecla and Peter 6. Apostles and Evangelists Bibliography General Index Index of Extracts from Apocryphal Texts Permissions and Acknowledgements

About the Author

David R. Cartlidge is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Maryville College, Tennessee, USA. Keith Elliot is Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism at the University of Leeds, UK.


"Those interested in the development of Christian art through the centuries will especially appreciate this volume.." -The Bible Today "Helpful for both art historians and those in religious studies, it is written for graduate or upper-level undergraduate courses." -Religious Studies Review "The joint effort of two specialists in their field has created a book that is not only a pleasure to read but also a pleasure to look at. The publisher has given an excellent design to this volume, up to the point that the perhaps most beautiful of all the pictures in this book is shown on the front cover of the paperback edition: Caravaggio's "Rest During the Flight into Egypt," with Mary and the boy Jesus sound asleep, Joseph holding the music and a juvenile angel playing the violin. Hans-Josef Klauck, University of Chicago."

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