Gränsens ikonografi: En studie av kalkmålade bilder vid kyrkorummens trösklar och gränser

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Abstract

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The present text deals with the iconography of the borders of sacred space, focusing on late medieval mural paintings in parish churches in Scania as a part of medieval Denmark. The images unite with the architectural space, the worshippers and their ritual actions in creating and defining sacred space. The key concept is spatial liminality, the crossing of borders in a ritual context.
The borders discussed are the thresholds between porch and nave, and between nave and chancel. One of the motifs relating to the limen, the threshold of the entrance and exit door, is the image of Saint Christopher, frequently depicted in immediate view at the entrance, crossing the river and in the process of becoming a Christian, like a child during baptism, crossing the threshold for the first time. A motif comparatively frequently placed in a visible position at the exit from the sacred space, on the other hand, is Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden. By placing these images close to the doorway, the acts of entering and leaving this particular architectural space is given a particular meaning; entering or leaving the sacred space, the medieval individual participates in the re-enactment and the staging of becoming a Christian and of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden into the living conditions of mortals.
The chosen examples at the border between chancel and nave are, above all, images of donors, kneeling as intermediators, inviting their contemporaries into the heavenly realm where they kneel in worship before Christ and the saints.

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  • Art History
Translated title of the contributionThe Iconography of the Border
Original languageSwedish
JournalSvensk Teologisk Kvartalskrift
Volume89
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes