Monday, October 21, 2013

31st All Saints' Lecture at Brixworth Church

The 31st All Saints' Lecture at Brixworth Church, Northants will be held on
Saturday 2nd November at 5pm. The speaker this year is Prof. Leslie
Brubaker, professor of Byzantine Art at the University of Birmingham, who
will talk on 'Brixworth and Byzantium'. All are welcome.

Details of the 2013 lecture are here
<http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/mrc/events/31st-brixworth-lecture>  (with
information about past lectures and how to order
<http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/mrc/events/the-brixworth-lecture-series>
them) and on the poster below.

The starting point for this year's lecture is the much anticipated
publication of the Brixworth archaeological survey by David Parsons and
Diana Sutherland:
The Anglo-Saxon Church of All Saints, Brixworth, Northamptonshire: Survey,
Excavation and Analysis, 1972-2010 [Hardback] which was published by Oxbow
in June this year (and is on special offer
<http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/the-anglo-saxon-church-of-brixworth-northamptonshire.html> 
 at the moment).

This is a major publication of a major Anglo-Saxon building (comparable in
scale to Wulfred's early 9th C cathedral in Canterbury) and is a 'must have'
for all Anglo-Saxonists' libraries. Parsons and Sutherland's work has
established that this spectacular church was built c. 800, and recognises
firmly the European context in which it was built. At this time Western
Europe was dominated by Charlemagne's Frankish kingdom. To the  east lay the
Byzantine Empire centred on the imperial city of Constantinople. At the turn
of the ninth century, Byzantium was ruled by a woman, the Empress Irene
(797-802), who overturned the iconoclast policies of her predecessors,
restoring the veneration of icons to the eastern Church. Byzantine attitudes
towards images were known and had been discussed in the west since at least
the time of Bede (d. 735). Prof. Brubaker's lecture provides an opportunity
to reflect on how an Anglo-Saxon church like Brixworth would have been
decorated when it was built, c. 800, and what its priests and worshippers
would have thought about Byzantine concerns about depictions of Christ and
All Saints.

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