Karen Britt, assistant professor of Byzantine and Medieval art and archaeology, University of Louisville, will present "For Heaven's Sake: the Re-conceptualization of Christian Sacred Space in Late Antiquity" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Miami University Art Museum. Her talk is part of the Archaeological Institute of America's lecture program, now in its 116th year.
Britt’s lecture will examine the common assumption that the imagery in the churches of ancient Palestine and Arabia was arranged hierarchically from the floors to the walls, vaults and ceilings, evoking a perception of "heaven on earth" among worshipers.
Yet, the relationship of the decoration of the walls and ceiling to the floor is difficult to determine because the superstructures of the buildings rarely survive. In the provinces of Palestine and Arabia, there exist both contemporary literary descriptions as well as substantial archaeological evidence for early churches that make it possible to attempt a reconstruction of the architectural decoration, liturgical furnishings and ritual activity and consider how these functioned together to evoke a ‘heaven on earth’ among worshipers.
The lecture if free and open to the public.