Relics and Devotion
by Elizabeth Johnson



Sacred Relic or a Clever Fake?













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Title: Cities of God? Medieval Urban Forms and Their Christian Symbolism
Author(s): Keith D. Lilley
Source: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Sep., 2004), pp. 296-313
Publisher(s): Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3804493
Title: Relics of Pagan Antiquity in Mediæval Settings
Author(s): W. S. Heckscher
Source: Journal of the Warburg Institute, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Jan., 1938), pp. 204-220
Publisher(s): The Warburg Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/750006

Cities of God? Medieval Urban Forms and Their Christian Symbolism
Keith D. Lilley
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
New Series, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Sep., 2004), pp. 296-313
Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org.tarver-proxy.mercer.edu/stable/3804493




Were relics more of cult worship during medieval times? The bible says that there should be no idol worship, but yet some relics are viewed almost Christ like. The new oxford dictionary of the Christian church defines relics as follows: In Christian usage the word is applied to material remains of a saint after their death, as well as to the sacred objects that have been in contact with their body. The argument at hand is; are relics more than a representation of the saint?

Main Idea
Evidence
Relic Association
Associated objects used as relics.
The earliest instance of an associated object used as a relic occurs in the Acts of the Apostles: ‘And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul, so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons and the diseases departed from them and the evil spirits went out of them. (p.234)
Are they considered relics if they are replicas.
Actual relics still around, not just replicas.
The mummified body of S. Chiara is still exhibited in her church at Assisi. The nuns tell us it has thus been preserved owing to her virginity and the purity of her life.
The body of S. Cuthbert which is still preserved at Durham, was found at each exhumation to incorrupt: it was an object of pilgrimage until the Reformation.
Journey on
Personal contact with the saint
Onward for the receiving of the relics
Up close and personal
The receiving of relics and pilgrimages to the shrines in which they were displayed were two of the major activities of the medieval Church.
Relics held more than one purpose. Relics were also used for a personal contact with a saint so that their intervention might be more effectively solicited on behalf of the suppliant for their general welfare, the forgiveness of their sins or for the good of their soul.
Relics, open to the public.
EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!
Relics preserved by friends no more. Now open to the public.
In the early years, the bodies of saints and holy men were conserved by their friends and followers as objects to be revered and cherished. Worship was reserved for God and honor was accorded to the relic.
If we are going by the Christian definition of a relic, then worship should be reserved for God and honor is given to the relic. Some relic fans, definitely went overboard. There were false relics that were sold for the money which led to the necessity of having a way to verify that the relics were legit. Depending on one’s definition of relic it can be seen as idol worship or it can be a way to honor our saints. Cult worship during Medieval times…well, let’s just say they went a little overboard.





Creations in which meaning and symbolic value are more important than practical use may or may not be accepted quickly, and their meaning may or may not be immediately understood. Therefore the validity of a relic is always in question. The designer of a decorative program might want to reproduce a traditional picture or even to give new meaning to it. This kind of evolution requires much more than the superficial observation of similarity and dissimilarity.

Main Idea
Evidence
Relic Association
Associated objects used as relics.
Representations of Christ in apses, tracing the development of these images and attempting to understand it. The apsidal representation of Christ was not only one of the hallmarks of early Christian church decoration
Location, location
Does geography play a role in Christ relics?
The mummified body of S. Chiara is still exhibited in her church at Assisi. The nuns tell us it has thus been preserved owing to her virginity and the purity of her life.
The body of S. Cuthbert which is still preserved at Durham, was found at each exhumation to incorrupt: it was an object of pilgrimage until the Reformation.
Christ relics – a worship symbol or another way to honor Christ
Personal contact with the saint
To display or not to display
Christ image stopped dominating the Byzantine empire around 700
Relics held more than one purpose. Relics were also used for a personal contact with a saint so that their intervention might be more effectively solicited on behalf of the suppliant for their general welfare, the forgiveness of their sins or for the good of their soul.
Evolution—true or false
The many faces of Christ.
Christ image has changed and continues to change over time. The evolution of pictures as those found in the apses of early Christian churches cannot be traced as easily as the evolution of an archaeological artifact.
Does the evolution of Christ change the validity of the relics? It is possible that it may affect the honor that goes with the relic, but in the case of the many relics of Christ it appears that the evolution of the relics has had a very mild effect on the reputation of Christ. Christ still has many different faces, depending on the Christian religion but nonetheless he appears to be worshiped the same.

Elizabeth - this is really good. I had no idea of the importance of relics and you helped me understand better. The shroud of turin was very interesting. I am going to read more about this. I tried to pull up the video and could not, but it may just be because it was blocked from my computer. I will try from my home computer. Good job!

#2- I think that you did a great job in giving us information about the relics as well as supporting your arguments. This makes me want to read more about them. The only constructive criticism I have is there were a few grammatical and spelling errors. Just proofread or have someone else with a fresh eye do it for you. Also the video did not work L I would have loved to see what it was about. Other than that great job!