|Disciplines||Archaeology, History, Literature and Language - Irish, Religion, Theology|
|Temporal Terms||Middle Ages (4th c. to 15th c.)|
|Methods and Techniques||Art and design, Cataloguing and indexing, Collaborative publishing, Communication and collaboration, Data Analysis, Data Capture, Data publishing and dissemination, Data reuse, Data Structuring and enhancement, Digital document preparation, Generic Searching/linking/visualizing, Graphical interaction and sharing, Image analysis, Image capture, Image capture and transformation, Image processing, Linking records, Manual transcription, Practice-led Research, Project Management, Searching and querying, Strategy and project management, Text Encoding, Textual analysis, Textual interaction and sharing, Visualization|
|Contact||medievalirishchristgmail [dot] com|
|Start/End date||December 2008 - September 2011|
|Data Formats||Extensible Markup Language (XML), Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), JPEG File Interchange Format (JPEG)|
|Metadata Formats||Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)|
|Funding||Irish Research Council for the Humanities&Social Sciences (IRCHSS)|
|Irish Geographic Names||All Ireland|
‘Christ on the Cross’ is an interdisciplinary project designed to bring together scholars with expertise in the textual, material, liturgical and exegetical culture of early medieval Ireland to examine the depiction of the Passion of Christ. The Passion, as its name indicates, focuses upon the suffering of Christ and his humanity; at the same time, believers are invited to look forward with hope to the Resurrection, when the divinity of Christ and his victory over death will be revealed. This dual vision is reflected in the complex early medieval representations of Christ on the cross, which revel in the multivalency of the Crucifixion; the Cross is read and interpreted in multiple directions simultaneously: as a sign of Christ’s suffering, a symbol of his saving grace and, finally, as an image of judgment and the end of earthly time. These symbols can be traced not only in the textual record, but also in images, the use of space, music and the liturgy and this project aims to provide a holistic approach to medieval culture that brings together these different areas of study into a shared space.
A database of texts and images will provide the shared space in which users can examine the textual and material record in a relationship that reflects the environment in which their original ‘readers’ would have experienced them: that is, together and as equal partners, and not in a source-secondary relation. For there is rarely a direct causal relationship between text and image: one seldom directly inspires the other. This database of texts and images will allow researchers to access and examine depictions and expressions across a variety of media, in a fluid and flexible way. Users will be able to search by date, provenance, material, theme expressed, and a substantial bibliography will remain live and under construction throughout the project life. A pilot version will be available on-line by the end of the autumn. Once we have this core data, various analytical tools will also be offered: an interactive timeline, a ‘live’ bibliography, maps and digital visualization tools that would allow a range of audiences to use the material, including scholars, students, school groups, heritage bodies and interested members of the public.
The cross is the most potent of all objects in early medieval culture: it is a strikingly simple image in structural terms, yet its significance is profound and its readings multivalent. One of the aims of this project is to provide a teaching, learning and research tool that is simple and easy to use, but which also reflects on multiple levels the complexity with which the medieval world envisioned the defining moment in Christian history and theology when Christ was on the Cross.
The ‘Christ on the Cross’ project is funded by an IRCHSS Project Grant in Theology and Religious Studies (2008-2011)
Image: The Southampton Psalter (Cambridge, St John's College Library, C.9 f.35v)
Reproduced by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College