Bishop Robert Grosseteste and Lincoln Cathedral: tracing relationships between medieval concepts of order and built form

Burlington, VT: Ashgate (2014)
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Abstract

Bishop Robert Grosseteste and Lincoln Cathedral provides a much-needed and in-depth investigation of Grosseteste’s relationship to the medieval cathedral at Lincoln and the surrounding city. The architecture and topography of Lincoln Cathedral are examined in their cultural contexts, in relation to scholastic philosophy, science and cosmology, and medieval ideas about light and geometry, as highlighted in the writings of Robert Grosseteste - bishop of Lincoln Cathedral. At the same time the architecture of the cathedral is considered in relation to the roles of the clergy and masons; the policies of the bishop; matters of governance, worship and education; ecclesiastical hierarchy, church liturgy, politics and processionals. Investigations include parallel studies of Salisbury Cathedral and Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel at Aachen, highlighting important connections in regard to ceremonial itineraries and political/religious hierarchies. Finally, the book explores Grosseteste’s ideas in the broader context of medieval and Renaissance cosmologies, optics/perspective, natural philosophy and experimental science. The contributors to this volume make an important contribution to our current understanding of the relation between architecture, theology, politics and society during the Middle Ages, and how religious spaces were conceived and experienced.

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