Christian Themes in Art: The First Christian Art and its Early Developments
I suppose many of us like to think that the age of the internet has opened up access to new resources, giving us free access to things that were once only available to the privileged. This is obviously a truism, and certainly we now have access to work from all around the world. However, many will not know that for over 400 years Gresham Professors have given free public lectures in the City of London.
The College is named after Sir Thomas Gresham, son of Sir Richard Gresham who was Lord Mayor in 1537/38 and who conceived the idea of building an Exchange modelled on the Antwerp Bourse. This was brought to fruition by Sir Thomas, on land provided by the City of London Corporation, and was given the royal appellation by Queen Elizabeth I. Gresham College is London’s oldest Higher Education Institution. Its Gresham Professors, who are leaders in their fields, and other visiting speakers offer over 100 free public events every year. You can subscribe to these lectures as podcasts via iTunes.
Professor the Rt Revd Lord Harries is the current Gresham Professor of Divinity and was the Bishop of Oxford from 1987 to 2006. He was previously the Dean of King’s College London, where he is now a Fellow and an Honorary Professor of Theology. His recent series of lectures have focused on Christian art. This first lecture looks at the earliest surviving Christian art is in the catacombs in Rome, how the art developed, survived two centuries of iconoclasm and established itself with a distinctive rationale..
You can watch Lord Harries present here with his slides. You may need to click the play button twice when the link opens.
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