Thursday, 30 April 2015

Jordina Sales-Carbonell: The Fathers of the Church and their role in promoting Christian constructions in Hispania

There have been many Fathers of the Church who have excelled in ancient times for their evergetic activity, specifically in developing, constructing or monumentalizing Christian buildings. We just have to remind Ambrose of Milan for the West or Gregory of Nyssa for the East to get a quick idea of their determination when facing the challenge of reorganizing urban and rural landscapes through the increasingly presence of Christian constructions.
Hispania did not stayed out of this phenomenon at all. In fact, since the lower imperial centuries we find documented cases of fathers involved in building activities, but it will be during the Visigothic centuries (VI-VII) when the heyday of the relationship between patristic and architecture will occur. This splendor came from the hand of such prominent figures as Ildefonsus of Toledo, Martin of Dumium, Fructuosus of Braga or several of the generically called Holy Fathers of Merida, to name just a few.
What are the Fathers of the Church who promoted Christian buildings in Hispania? What types of buildings were the preferred? What were the main motivations of this kind of evergesy? All this and many other aspects will be analyzed through this status quaestionis on the subject for Hispania.

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