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Jennifer M. Feltman
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015

Moral Theology and the Cathedral: Sculpted Programs of the Last Judgment in Thirteenth-Century France

Summer research and writing on Art History and Criticism, History of Religion, and Medieval Studies.

The Last Judgment, the moment in Christian theology when Christ will separate the Blessed and Damned, was depicted in no less than 20 monumental sculptural programs in thirteenth-century France. Unlike the rare twelfth-century examples at Autun and Conques, these dramatic portals do not emphasize judgment, but rather the potential for salvation: Christ shows his wounds instead of pointing to Heaven or Hell. This book places the novel imagery of the Last Judgment in the context of the new, practical literature for pastoral care, which spread from the University of Paris through clerical networks and--it is argued--was made visible in sculptural programs at the cathedrals of Chartres, Paris, Reims, and Amiens. Perhaps of greatest significance, the book opens up a new way for thinking about sculpted program as works of visual exegesis. This methodology highlights the importance of intellectual history and manuscript studies for the understanding of portal sculpture--and vice versa.