Towards an Art History of the Parish Church: An Afterword on Explanation, Meaning, and Experience

Paul Binski

When I was invited to deliver the concluding remarks at the end of the conference on which this book is based, I took as my starting point an article cited in the headline publicity for the conference, which I had published in 1999.It had been commissioned as a ‘bully pulpit’, a platform to promote the idea that the parish church was a worthy object of attention to a greater extent than the published art-historical literature at the time suggested, and that in order to develop this attention we might need to adopt a more integrated or holistic approach, one more synthetic than the generally analytical, media-based methods then dominant. The proposed approach, I freely admit, owed much to anthropology and cultural studies, and I would not exactly disown it now. But all writing is of its time, and here I want to develop a few further thoughts.

Whether or not what was outlined in that paper was acceptable or realisable, the papers gathered here indicate that the field has widened even further: big data analysis, performativity, the history of the senses, ‘emotionology’, gender and identity, and ‘materiality’ studies, to name but a few, have now entered the scene. It is still recognised that the sheer extent of the data is forbidding, that comprehensive political solutions to the future of the parish church heritage are as yet unforthcoming, and that the academy needs to think hard about how to reward professionally the study of these monuments. The study of the parish church is not, nor will it ever be, separable from wider social and intellectual trends, and will always be tugged hither and thither by forces at work in humanities at large.

Certainly in the 1990s, amidst the various upheavals of the so-called New Art History, there was a sense that the art history of the parish church had been overtaken by new agendas set by social and religious historians.Anthropologically-minded historians were now restoring life to these buildings, and it was up to those of us engaged in the study of ‘visual culture’ to respond. The notion of the restoration of life in the face of the decline of the central belief system seems, to me, to matter. Academic concern has become more social and psychological, more orientated towards the instrumentality of images and their reception; in defining art as imagery, indeed, it has tended to follow paths set by anthropology and cultural studies. The visual ‘equipment’ of the parish church (its ornamenta) is now understood within the inherited community life of the parish, a life which provided the soil into which such equipment sank its roots. Some church historians sought, and seek, a radical view of imagery whose depth was communitarian, embedded and traditional. In this they owe much to anthropology and sociology, notably to Émile Durkheim’s thinking about religion and the ‘moral community’: ‘A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things … things set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite in one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them’.3 Thus rooted, religion grew out of tradition in the same way that Greek drama grew out of ancient ritual. The narrative is an old one and was not invented by medievalists.

In this act of recovery, of guaranteeing a certain (typically collective) life and authenticity, the metaphor of depth is both important and characteristic. The deep structures consist of common things, liturgy, the public expression of faith on which ‘interiority’ is based, the working of parish and economy, and (importantly) the non-elite character of that faith. Artefacts are but an aspect of life lived. These are the structures of meaning sought by anthropology, in which, to cite Eamon Duffy, tradition is invoked in order to show how the general character of religious culture is ‘rooted in a repertory of inherited and shared beliefs and symbols’.4 The emphasis on function, communication, symbolism, and socio-religious embedding enables images to be located meaningfully in the totality of human experience. This totality has a grand narrative. One of the most influential of these concerning larger patterns of psychological change was Richard Southern’s chapter ‘From Epic to Romance’ in his 1953 study The Making of the Middle Ages, a title which consciously or unconsciously echoes Jesse Weston’s From Ritual to Romance (1920), which applied the methods of Frazer’s The Golden Bough to the legend of the Grail.Anthropology was hardly a discovery of the 1990s.

It had, however, been greatly energised in recent decades by the approach to meaning called ‘thick description’, articulated especially by the anthropologist Clifford Geertz in his The Interpretation of Cultures: that artefacts should be integrated and understood symbolically, psychologically, ideologically, conflictually, charismatically, and ritualistically.6 In the image anthropology of Hans Belting and Alfred Gell we encounter the notion that function or ‘operative context’ (Kult) and social agency should prevail in the history of the image. Images (not ‘works of art’) are valuable in demonstrating the use-value of things.According to this view, things work primarily within certain contexts. Because what matters in this form of description is precisely function itself (not, note, purpose or experience), artefacts may be exchanged willy-nilly if they satisfy the minimal data needed for functional efficiency. But this instrumentalisation is insufficient: what artefacts look like, what their makers intended, what their agency was, and what indeed their purpose or ‘final cause’ was, can and should be separated from their instrumentality. Yet in this mindset, function and purpose (which are not the same thing) are elided. And the result is that artifice, and the human agency enabling it, simply vanishes, and artefacts inhabit, or are obliged to inhabit, an entirely instrumentalised world in which their end or purpose remains unclear, unrevealed.

I have argued elsewhere that the flattening effect of these essentially ideological decisions to marginalise aesthesis is proving unhelpful; if images function simply to transmit doctrine or sustain ritual, one image will stand in for another regardless of its look.8 By its means, the non-elitist, communitarian stance is kept intact: we don’t have to worry about categories like ‘art’ or ’quality’ because those things are secondary to the true narrative of meaning-function. The critique of ‘empty’ aestheticism originated, after all, in anthropology and some forms of cultural and ideological critique. Nor need we necessarily uncover the conventions of discourse that frame human artifice. In this way, a great deal of real interest to medieval contemporaries (and to us) is lost and the critical options narrowed. The flattening effect of much contextual study is capable only of explaining similarity but not the differences between things that were mentioned (because they mattered) in medieval discourse. It is hard to see how such an account of the variety, ingenuity, beauty, splendour, and above all persuasiveness of the art of the parish church could be humanly satisfying or even historical. Indeed, it seems to me self-evident that the makers of images (which I will persist in calling ‘artists’ and ‘works of art’) calculated and discriminated about their handiwork; that differences mattered to them; and that they had a language with which to articulate these differences aside from actual praxis. If these things mattered to them, they should matter to us. To understand this, we need to think a little more about explanation, meaning and experience, and contemplate the objective of ‘depth’ as offering a full critical account of what we see in the art of the Middle Ages. We may need to accept that cultures illuminate, but do not explain, and that surfaces, not depths, are more important than the now-dominant archaeological and cultural models allow.

In my 1999 paper I had the temerity (in the face of the anti-aesthetic critique which grew directly out of Geertz’s work as well as the New Art History) to suggest that the ‘gestalt’ or whole effect of parish churches—the object, surely, of holistic enquiry—might matter: that we should consider style, and therefore surface broadly construed. By that I did not mean style analysis, the tried and tested method of scientifically-based empiricism. Such analysis seems to me as important in getting a grip on form and change as the understanding of poetic metre and literary genre. Without style, which pinpoints difference, we are potentially doomed to a semi-articulate discourse of eternal exchangeability in which the facts concerning any one artefact are not of overwhelming importance relative to its use and framing discourse. Because of this, art history simply fades into cultural studies. But such style analysis had been targeted in the 1980s because its deficiencies were also evident. Formalist approaches were under attack in many branches of the humanities, not least literary study. When we worry about chronology and the style of artefacts it is because we are thinking causally. A chain of events leads the object to look ‘like that’. We seek explanations: these might be intentional (the reasons that might be given by artists for the decisions they took) or the operation of larger invisible forces like the economy (or causes) which transcend will and intention. These explanations are usually and rightly framed in terms of chronology, cause and effect, the retrospective tracing of sources which are in some way held to explain later decisions, and so on. Their character is essentially scientific, not critical.

Accounts that are preoccupied with origins, reasons, and causes in this way tend to say much less about outcomes. Such explanation works by understanding prior genres and stylistic decisions—this building leading to that building and so on—in a process of reasoning. But what drops out of this account is the much harder concept to grasp: purpose. We say that this building or image is explained not in terms of the intentions of its maker (and here it is as well to recall that ‘intention’ carries with it the idea of ‘aim’, pointing ahead), but in terms of the antecedent conditions for its manufacture. Source-tracing masquerades as explanation. The trajectory of intention drops out of the picture, and the teleological relation to function to purpose, or means to ends, is avoided. What Aristotle, in the philosophically most influential account of causality in the Middle Ages (in his Physics (II.3) and Metaphysics (V.2)), called the final cause—the thing ‘for the sake of which’ something came into being—becomes confused with the formal, efficient, and material causes which he also identified. This means-ends confusion seems to me typical of much image-anthropology in which, as I said above, an artefact’s end is not clearly differentiated from its function, and it is to its function that an image’s purpose is in effect reduced without there being a clear criterion for how, exactly, we pinpoint functional success. The fact is that works of art are more effective, and—to make a point about category—more unbounded than their functions alone. That is why they are interesting.

It is not that anthropology actively seeks reductive explanation. On the contrary, at its best, it actively seeks out something richer (or deeper-seeming): the understanding of things by means of a sort of inner sympathy or Verstehen.Anthropology becomes a search for the meaningfulness of things in a way that, to cite Geertz, is ‘essentially semiotic’, signs working within the ‘imaginative universe’ which thick description promises.10 This cannot be wholly wrong. And yet something is missing, or at least assumed, in such thinking about meaning. This is that each and every artwork not only promises—a meaning to be grasped and debated and even produced within the public and social realm—but also possesses agency. Artefacts don’t just illustrate or symbolise: they create experience. The communitarian account of the parish church developed in the 1980s and 1990s, which stressed the embedding of personal experience and habit within the collective, seems to me justified in the sense that it grasps the fact, true of the Middle Ages certainly, that art and textuality operated socially, and that the discourse of the individual was not readily separable from the public domain. But as with all theories of meaningfulness, what drops out is an account of experience, of how the differences and similarities of things actively produced experiences—I mean especially sense-based or aesthetic experiences—in that social body: in short, how they looked forward, had a ‘design’, on the beholder.

If images are there simply to transmit information, to convey doctrine, they become a medium as it is often, and wrongly, understood: an undifferentiated transparent vehicle, like plate glass, without its own agency. This is in large measure because the instrumental outlook of historians of religion is indifferent to artifice; artifice takes account of and works in a medium, and that medium has agency. Materiality study, based ultimately on the thinking about medium and the senses explored by Walter J. Ong and Marshall McLuhan, has had the virtue of reminding us that artworks not only have an ostensive form (shape, style) but power as materially-constituted things.11 The medium is (partly) the message: metaphorically and aesthetically, it incarnates. Materiality study also has deficiencies which we need not explore now.12 But what it stresses is that things are not solely apprehended as objects functioning within a deeper context; they are, first, surfaces whose material and idiomatic form, whose shape, profile, surface patterning, colour, and ‘look’ create an experience within their beholders as thinking feeling subjects. These surfaces, unlike the hidden depths, are open, contextual (or occasional), complex, social yet also individual, but above all knowable through the senses and sense-based experience. They provoke thought. They are matters of aesthetic attention in the pre-modern sense of knowledge, sensation, and experience gained through the senses. So, when in 1999 I wrote about such surfaces as constitutive elements in the creation of experience, I was not only challenging the anti-aestheticism of the New Art History: I had anticipated the new style of rhetorical analysis which has been more systematically explored by others in recent years.13

As Mary Carruthers and C. Stephen Jaeger have since shown in their different ways, non-transcendental—that is, worldly—aesthetics are concerned with surfaces, appearances, sense perceptions, experiences: Christian art inevitably has a ‘sensual, surface-bound aspect’.14 The rhetorical language and practices of the ancient and medieval worlds preserve for us a large and articulate body of discourse about such experiences which possesses real critical value. It reminds us that some of the earliest and greatest theologians (and aestheticians) such as St. Augustine were also trained rhetoricians, and that theology itself was cast in rhetorical terms. Mary Carruthers says of St. Bonaventure and the incarnational aspect of art that ‘the joy he describes is not in some meaning he finds in the object, but rather the pleasures of the craftsman in making it and our sensory pleasures in perceiving it. Artists do not imitate the doctrine of Incarnation by expressing it directly but in the ways their art assumes and demonstrates some of its process’.15

In their assumption and demonstrative power, in their colour, sheen, and finish, line and calculation, all visual artefacts, whether buildings or images, have a powerful latency. We experience the coloured marble columns at the east end of Canterbury Cathedral as magnificent, and that magnificence, that ‘making great’, is made yet deeper when we see that the columns have a human dimension, that as complex metaphors they allude to current hagiography, embody an elevating aesthetic of martyrdom, but also rely on conventional architectural exegesis which is beyond personal understanding.16 They act as forms of figurative understanding which are not literally mimetic or just ‘symbolic’. They do not transmit information, nor do they imitate; they are, and they instil in us, what martyrdom is. And it is in the realisation of that nexus, created by the context or, better, ‘occasion’, of the artefact, that we take both inspiration and pleasure. Meaning, inner sympathy, Verstehen are not separable from such experience because experience is in part a vehicle for meaning. And yet it is exactly the discourse of experience, of pleasure (as of other sensations) that has dropped out of our critical language.

If an art history of the parish church is to realise this fully, it must, in my view, understand that artworks cannot just be folded or dissolved into their contexts, as if a context were a clearly-understood ‘given’ that could shape experience (I prefer the rhetorical, and more active or processual idea of ‘occasion’). Artefacts are ornamenta, equipment, but persuasive equipment which produces experience which is always occasional17. It might be asked how experience can be a proper object of historical enquiry. Surely it is evanescent, fleeting, personal, and ‘occasional’ in the sense of not being governed by norms? Correct, and yet experience is also framed within and perpetuated by identifiable social and linguistic conventions. The recent movement to consider in greater depth the language of ancient and medieval rhetorical practice and theory, to consider the public language of persuasion, has aimed consciously to retrieve the study of medieval art making and experience from the intellectualist domains of Platonic (and modernist) thought. For rhetoric is far more than oratory: it is a body of practice which has actively directed aesthetic activity more widely. In particular, it restores sensory perceptions, the complex bodily and affective components of experience, to the standing they had in the Middle Ages, not in the Early Modern period or under the dispensations of Romanticism and modernism. Because these components were social and open to all—contrary to the usual dismissal of rhetorical analysis as ‘elitist’—issues of quality, which seem to haunt medievalists, can be set aside. Anyone can ‘get’ the rules. Finally, in a world in which scholarship seems to have split between historicists and phenomenologists, rhetorical study offers an historically-informed route into the nature and language of experience as a public thing which is distinguishable from the trans-historicising tendencies of phenomenology. Far from being elitist, this essentially socialised scheme attempts instead to free the understanding of medieval objects from post-medieval, individualistic notions of the self.

It follows that such sense perceptions are never entirely free of mindfulness. For example, the trajectory of intention, the aim of a work of art (or artist), is captured by the process of locating and travelling through a work of art or a building, a journey which has attracted the rhetorical term ductus.18 The notion of ductus implies the possibility of divergent paths. Such paths do not sit well with the common notion of determinate meaning. But they do imply some sort of initial orientation captured, in medieval compositional theory, by the idea of mapping, what Geoffrey of Vinsauf calls the ‘Cadiz’ or starting point for all compositional activity verbal or visual.19 This notion of cognitive mapping was strikingly anticipated in one of the more stimulating (if anti-communitarian) general essays on the social space of the parish church: that by Pamela Graves (1989).20 In Graves’s essay, Frances Yates’s ideas about memory and Pierre Bordieu’s idea of the habitus are coupled with rhetorical learning and the memorisation of sequential information in such a way that ‘space, fabric and action become recursively implicated in facilitating and defining practice and knowledge’ and in which the iconography of the church becomes a ‘powerful cognitive map’.21 However, the rhetorical art of memory was not solely recollective but prospective, productive; the cognitive map is not static, but rather actively guides the spectator through the pathways of understanding, what Carruthers calls ‘the routes of prayer’, by means of persuasive experience.22

It is not difficult to sketch out the object domains of such routes, because they are common to all complex works of art. There is a way in, and a way through. Since English parish churches (with rare exceptions) tend not to have elaborate carved portals, their often highly-decorated porches become the occasion for the opening statement, the exordium which gets the audience into the right frame of mind (well-disposed, attentive, and teachable).23 Within, the cognitive map is established by a familiar distribution of sacramental furniture, the font, the altars, the specially-furnished places for the priests. The painted rood screen, as it developed in the fifteenth century at any rate, offers a second occasion for engagement, and for continuing the essentially dynamic process begun at entry.24

This process is not, however, solely nor essentially cognitive. It is moved on, energised, by aesthetic experience itself, by pleasure, by the powers of attraction (or repulsion) which moved the activity of affective engagement, and by affect. Fullness or amplification (copia)—for example, of nave and chancel wall paintings—are occasions for absorption and admiration: the murals should be thorough but also executed ‘loud and clear’ in their miscellany. The pleasure taken in them may be aroused by their scale and splendour but also by their internal variety and complexity, especially if they consist of skilled narrative mixture or pleasurable medley, their ‘copious chaos’ being a spur to thought.25 Such fullness might concern narrative, or it might concern the amplification and reiteration of magnificently-executed but minute micro-architectural detailing, as on many screens, tombs and chancel furnishings of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.26

Such effects, aimed at winning the attention and benevolence of those experiencing them, have a strongly affective as well as cognitive order. The illumination of churches by adequate natural light and by the splendour of artificial lights on and around the altar was, we know, a concern of the pastoral church in the period from the thirteenth century, as ‘obscurity’ became the target of opprobrium. Perhaps the concern was sacramental, that the ‘need to see’ the Host required adequate and symbolically rich illumination.27 But that it was also social and affective is undeniable. Throughout Western Europe, the language of light was connected unashamedly to the language of joy or exhilaration. For instance, when a great Mass was said for Eleanor of Castile at Westminster Abbey in 1307, candles were placed on the abbey’s encircling beams and distributed to the congregation in such a way that ‘the splendour of shining lights, like a starry sky, gladdened (exhillaravit) with great enjoyment (iocunditas) the hearts of those beholding it’.28 Such language of joy, pleasure, and the quickening of sensibility was far from subjective: it was coupled conventionally with notions of nobility and magnificence. And, by the same socio-aesthetic logic, artifice recognised too the powers of repulsion, the beneficial aspect of fear; that while artefacts could generate delight in beauty, they could also work by a sort of disgust. Aristotle’s Poetics (1.1448b4) pondered the experience of the painful by arguing that we can take pleasure in the unpleasant: ‘Though the objects themselves may be painful to see, we delight to view the most realistic representations of them in art, the forms for example of the lowest animals and of dead bodies’. His concern was essentially fascination, the powerful, even compulsive form of attention that connects attraction and repulsion. Of this the late-medieval realist macabre arts are perfect instances, at once serving orthodox doctrine and yet demonstrating the persuasion of the unpleasurable, the ugly, the fearful.

On other occasions, I have also tried to argue that visual practices often conceived in ideological and epistemological terms may better be understood as means whereby certain experiences were created. I would cite especially the zone of the marginal, of what I have called the ‘pleasures of unruling’, in which the polymorphous, the discordant, the grotesque, did not directly serve the endless textualising pursuit of meaning at all, but rather the creation of experience in the onlooker.29 Ideology, I suggest, constantly forces us back to meaning and away from the social domain of experience and engagement and delight governed not by givens such as ‘context’, but rather by the more fluid notion of occasion. Artefacts very often work against as well as with their contexts, but they tend to work within the looser guidelines of occasion.

It is difficult not to remark, finally, on the way that the humanist inclinations of rhetorical analysis harmonise (to an extent) with that enjoyment of complexity and contradiction which Robert Venturi foregrounded in his manifesto of postmodernism.30 Yet the intentions of persuasion, and complexity for its own sake, were not really the same. In writing earlier about the teleological relation of means and ends, function and purpose, I sought to distinguish these terms not in order to deny the functionality of art but in order to retain the specialness of its intentions and purposes, its outcomes. For the arts of the parish church and its ‘routes of prayer’ served ends—confident belief and virtuous action—which on another occasion I have called a ‘conviction purpose’.31 Such ends are no more reducible to function than are the aesthetic, experiential devices of artifice, or art. They consist of something which involves meaning but which is also deeper, more heartfelt, based in a true persuasion of both heart and mind: fides, confidence, faith. Jean de Joinville in his mid thirteenth-century Romans as Ymages called this state ferme creance.32 For this reason, purposes are revealed to us in a way that functions are not. An art history of the parish church, as perhaps of medieval arts more generally, should to my mind try to understand how such arts created and sustained ferme creance through style, pleasure, humour, artifice, difficulty, and even illusion.


[1] Paul Binski, ‘The English Parish Church and its Art in the Later Middle Ages: A Review of the Problem’, Studies in Iconography 20 (1999): pp. 1–25.
[2] Three characteristic studies of the period are Miri Rubin, Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400–1580 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992); Katherine L. French, Gary G. Gibbs, and Beat A. Kümin (eds.), The Parish in English Life 1400–1600 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997), and for further (though not comprehensive) bibliography to 1999, see Binski, ‘Parish Church’.
[3] Émile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, (trans.) Karen E. Fields (New York: The Free Press, 1995), cited p. 44.
[4] Duffy, Stripping, p. 3.
[5] Richard W. Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages (London: Hutchinson, 1953); Jessie L. Weston, From Ritual to Romance(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920); James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, two volumes (London: Macmillan, 1890).
[6] Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), pp. 3–30.
[7] Hans Belting, Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, (trans.) Edmund Jephcott (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 1994); Alfred Gell, ‘The Technology of Enchantment and the Enchantment of Technology’, in Jeremy Coote and Anthony Shelton (eds.), Anthropology, Art and Aesthetics (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992), pp. 40–63.
[8] See my study Gothic Sculpture (London: Paul Mellon Centre and Yale University Press, 2019), p. 129.
[9] Wilhelm Dilthey, Selected Writings, Hans P. Rickman (ed.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976).
[10] Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures, pp. 6, 13.
[11] Walter J. Ong, The Presence of the Word: Some Prolegomena for Cultural and Religious History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967); Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (London: Routledge, 1964).
[12] Binski, Gothic Sculpture, pp. 171–91.
[13] Binski, ‘Parish Church’, p. 19.
[14] Mary Carruthers, The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 181–7; C. Stephen Jaeger (ed.), Magnificence and the Sublime in Medieval Aesthetics (New York: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 12–13.
[15] Carruthers, Experience, pp. 203–4.
[16] I give this instance in Paul Binski, Becket’s Crown, Art and Imagination in Gothic England 1170–1300 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), p. 9.
[17] For a fuller exposition of this see Binski, Gothic Sculpture and Carruthers, Experience, pp. 13–14.
[18] For ductus see Mary Carruthers (ed.), Rhetoric Beyond Words: Delight and Persuasion in the Arts of the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 190–213.
[19] Carruthers, Rhetoric Beyond Words, pp. 190–1.
[20] Pamela Graves, ‘Social Space in the English Medieval Parish Church’, Economy and Society 18 (1989): pp. 297–322.
[21] Graves, ‘Social Space’, pp. 305, 309.
[22] Mary Carruthers, The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric and the Making of Images, 400–1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 222, 261.
[23] For a recent study see Helen Lunnon, East Anglian Church Porches and their Medieval Context (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2020).
[24] Duffy, Stripping, pp. 110–12. See most recently Spike Bucklow, Richard Marks, and Lucy Wrapson (eds.) The Art and Science of the Church Screen in Medieval Europe (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2017).
[25] Binski, ‘Parish Church’, p. 15.
[26] For copia (fulness, amplification), see Carruthers, Craft, pp. 61, 63, and for amplification and diminution in microarchitecture, see Paul Binski, ‘Magnificentia in Parvis: microarchitecture et esthetique médiévale’, in Jean-Marie Guillouët and Ambre Vilain (eds.), Microarchitecture et figures du bâti: l’échelle à l’épreuve de la matière (Paris: Picard, 2018), pp. 13–24.
[27] An interest established by Edouard Dumoutet, Le désir de voir l’hostie et les origines de la dévotion au saint sacrament (Paris: G. Beauchesne, 1926); for lights, see David R. Dendy, The Use of Lights in Christian Worship, Alcuin Club Collections 41 (London: SPCK, 1959).
[28] Otto Lehmann-Brockhaus (ed.), Lateinische Schriftquellen zur Kunst in England, Wales und Schottland vom Jahre 901 bis zum Jahre 1307, five volumes (Munich: Prestel, 1955–60), no. 2987: ‘unde fulgor radiantium luminarium quasi caelum stellatum animos inspicientium iocunditate pervalida exhillaravit’. On this see my study ‘Aesthetic Attitudes in Gothic Art: thoughts on Girona Cathedral’, Codex Aquilarensis 35 (2019): pp. 179-200.
[29] I have expanded on this point in my study Gothic Wonder: Art, Artifice and the Decorated Style 1290–1350 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014), pp. 283–305.
[30] As proposed in Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1966), pp. 18–23.
[31] Binski, Gothic Sculpture, pp. 39–49.
[32] Lionel J. Friedman, Text and Iconography for Joinville’s Credo (Cambridge: Medieval Academy of America Publications, 1958); Aden Kumler, Translating Truth: Ambitious Images and Religious Knowledge in Late Medieval France and England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), p. 75; for confident belief, see Carruthers, Experience, pp. 38, 42, 102.