Of all forms of human knowledge, sacred texts may seem to be the least open to change over time. However, their enduring role in society can make them a particularly effective mirror for the evolving beliefs of an ever-changing world. In this lecture Michelle Brown will offer a richly illustrated account of the Lindisfarne Gospels, an illuminated copy of the four New Testament gospels made by Bishop Eadfrith at Lindisfarne, the famous monastery located on a tidal island off the north-east coast of England, in the early eighth century. Containing an extraordinarily rich and complex sequence of decorated pages comparable to those of the Book of Kells, the Lindisfarne Gospels displays a fascinating combination of influences stemming variously from the Mediterranean and Celtic worlds. Dr. Brown\'s exploration of this cultural icon will show how an excavation of its various levels of meaning reveals a fast-changing, innovative, and enlightened era that presents a striking contrast to traditional conceptions of the "Dark Ages."
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