Jesus through Medieval Eyes
Jesus through Medieval Eyes will take you on an exploration of medieval representations of Jesus in theology and literature.
Who is Jesus? What is he like? And who am I, encountering Jesus? These questions were just as important to Christians in the Middle Ages as they are today.
And yet—as C.S. Lewis noted—the modern church tends to forget that people of different cultures and times also thought carefully about who Jesus was; and sometimes their ideas and emphases were different.
Medievalist scholar Grace Hamman believes that we can deepen our understanding and adoration of Christ by looking to the Christians of the Middle Ages. Medieval Europeans were also suffering through pandemics, dealing with political and ecclesial corruption and instability, and reckoning with gender, money, and power. But their concerns and imaginations are unlike ours. Their ideas, narratives, and art about Jesus open up paradoxically fresh and ancient ways to approach and adore Christ—and to reveal where our own cultural ideals about the Messiah fall short.
Medieval representations of Jesus span from the familiar—like Jesus as the Judge at the End of Days, or Jesus as the Lover of the Song of Songs—to the more unusual, like Jesus as Our Mother. Through the words of medieval people like Julian of Norwich, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Margery Kempe, and St. Thomas Aquinas, we meet these faces of Jesus and find renewed ways to love the Savior, in the words of St. Augustine, that "beauty so ancient and so new."
About the Author
Grace Hamman, Ph.D. (Duke University) is a writer and independent scholar of late medieval poetry and contemplative writing. Her work has been published by academic and popular outlets, including Plough Quarterly and The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Grace hosts a podcast called Old Books with Grace which celebrates the beauty and joy found in reading the literature and theology of the past. She lives near Denver, Colorado with her husband and three young children.