Medieval Architectural Authenticity (and Doubt)

Thursday Lecture Series

October 21, 2021 Thursday, 12:15pm EDT The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University Virtual Event
  • This event will take place in person at the Heyman Center and virtually over Zoom. We ask that EVERYONE REGISTER VIA ZOOM, even those who plan to attend in person. Please read event description for further details.

  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Each TLS event will have its own Zoom registration. If you wish to attend all events, please register for each lecture individually.

  • Image Credit/Caption: Gesta Francorum Iherusalem expugnantium, 12th century, St. Omer MS 776, fol. 50v

How do monuments structure encounters between present viewers and past events? How do they emplace narratives and assert that they truthfully mark a correspondence between story and space? Twelfth-century patrons and masons were confronted with these questions in the aftermath of the First Crusade, when the topography of the “Holy Land” was refashioned to accord with medieval Christian imaginations of the sacred past. At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, new architecture, images, and inscriptions were positioned around older fragments to reinterpret the physical and theological foundations of the faith. At the Church at Abu Ghosh, natural springs and surrounding facilities were channeled to divert pilgrims towards new sacred sites. This presentation uses the two monuments and contemporary descriptions to analyze how medieval shrines constructed and confirmed their authenticity.

Attendance at SOF/Heyman events will follow Columbia-issued guidelines as they continue to develop. Given the current recommendations, we plan to allow in-person attendance for COLUMBIA AFFILIATES who have conformed with the on-campus guidelines. For everyone else, we're planning to livestream this event, allowing for virtual attendance.

This event also will be recorded. By being electronically present, you consent to the SOF/Heyman using such video for promotional purposes.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.