Christianity

Irish stone crosses subject of thesis

In her 1991 Master's Thesis, The Role of the High Cross in Early Christian Ireland: 8th to 11th Centuries, Jill Quattlebaum discusses the early Christian Church in Ireland and the importance of the stone cross as its symbol. The thesis is available to read online.

14th century manuscript returns to Bangor Cathedral

Sunday worshippers at Bangor Cathedral in Wales were given a rare treat recently: they were permitted to view the Bangor Pontifical, "a 14th Century bishop's manuscript, containing blessings and text of plainchant." The manuscript had been absent from its home for preservation and digitalization. (photo)

Early Byzantine church discovered in Israel

Israeli archaeologists are excited over the discovery of a 6th century Byzantine church in the desert southwest of Jerusalem. The small basilica features "exquisitely decorated" mosaic floors.

Russian icons at Boston museum

Lady Zabava reports that the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts will present a "stunning, major exhibition of 37 paintings and artifacts from Moscow’s Andrey Rublev Museum—most never shown before in the U.S—" from now until July 25, 2011.

Toronto Exhibit celebrates King James Bible

A new exhibit at the University of Toronto's Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Great and Manifold: A Celebration of the Bible in English runs until June 3, 2011. (photos)

Washington DC area to host early music concerts

On March 5 and 6, 2011, Collegium Cantorum will present Anonymous 24: a concert of medieval chant and (mostly) sacred polyphony. The concerts will take place in Bethesda, Maryland and Washington D.C.

Lindisfarne Gospels online for the first time

The British Library has announced that digitized copies of two "iconic treasures" from the Anglo Saxon era have been added to the library's Digitised Manuscripts site: the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Old English Hexateuch.

Luttrell Psalter available to view on British library website

Jasper C. of the Kingdom of Ansteorra reports that the entire Luttrell Psalter is available to view on the British Library website in Adobe Flash format.

Teacher finds 17th century Bible

While searching for historic baptismal certificates to share with her students, Wisconsin teacher Debra Court stumbled across an old book. Further research has shown the book to be a hand-illustrated, German Bible dating to 1670. (video)

Preserving historic manuscripts passion of Minnesota monks

Central Minnesota is the home of Hill Museum at St. John's Abbey, an unlikely site for the world's largest collection of historic religious manuscripts. Ray Suarez of PBS Newshour interviews Father Columba Stewart, director of the museum. (video)

Did Scots beat Norse to Iceland?

New research by experts from Bangor University in Wales may show that the Vikings were not the first to reach Iceland. The first may have been Irish monks from the Scottish islands who travled there 70 years before their Nordic neighbors.

A Celtic Amazing Grace

Violinist Andre Rieu wows a stadium full of spectators with a beautiful Celtic rendition of the hymn Amazing Grace, complete with a band of pipers and a lone pennywhistle. The video is available on YouTube.

Holy Thorn of Glastonbury vandalized

Police in Glastonbury, England are looking for vandals who cut the branches from the Holy Thorn, a 2,000-year-old tree said to have been planted by Joseph of Arimathea. (video)

Determining the date of Christmas

For many centuries, western Christians have celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, while those of the Eastern Orthodox faiths have celebrated it a week later. How did experts determine the date? Andrew McGowan of Biblical Archaeology Review has some answers.

Pieta model found in moldy box?

Most people would not have given a second look to the junk in a moldy box in an antique shop, certainly not a small terracotta statue covered in paint and scotch tape. But an Italian art collector did look a second time and may have discovered the model for Michelangelo's Pieta. (photos)

Knights Templar in London subject of new book

The 13th century Temple in London, the headquarters of the Knights Templar in the city, is a round church, but it has also served as a bank and document storage facility. Christopher Howse of the Telegraph looks at a new book on the Templars, The Temple Church in London.

The Celtic tonsure

An article, written by Daniel McCarthy, of Trinity College, Dublin, entitled On the Shape of the Insular Tonsure, discusses variations in Christian clerical tonsures during the Middle Ages. The article is in PDF format.

Medieval religious building reflects modern conflict

In the 8th century, the caliphs of Cordoba, Spain constructed the magnificent great mosque. After their conquest, 13th century Christians rechristened the building a cathedral. Now the two cultures have begun to clash again over tourist signs.

Tudor labyrinth revealed by Luftwaffe photo

In 1944, a Luftwaffe cameraman photographed a ruined house in Northamptonshire, but what was revealed in the photo was much more important. The house was surrounded by an elaborate garden containing a Tudor labyrinth, a symbol of the owner's Catholic faith. (photo)

Child finds medieval gold in England

A 4-year old using a metal detector with his father has unearthed as 16th century gold pendant which depicts the Virgin Mary and other Christian symbols.

Middle Ages featured at the Cleveland Museum of Art

In addition to its famous medieval Armour Court and manuscript collections, the Cleveland Museum of Art will host Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe now through January 17, 2011.

Ognissanti Crucifix determined a genuine Giotto

For centuries, a 14th century, painted cross, housed at the Ognissanti church in Florence, was considered to have been produced in a workshop, but prolonged restoration efforts have proven that the five-metre-high cross is a genuine Giotto. (photo)

Want to see medieval relics? Try Niagara Falls.

Known for weddings and a monumental waterfall, Niagara, New York also boasts one of the largest collections of Catholic relics in the United States.

Advanced technologies planned to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls

Thanks to several major gifts, the Israel Antiquities Authority plans to digitize the entire Dead Sea Scrolls collection and "make the images freely available and accessible to anyone anywhere in the world on the internet."

"Vision" celebrates life of Hildegard von Bingen

Vision, a new film by German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta, tells the story of 12th-century Benedictine nun Hildegard von Bingen and her "her frequent skirmishes with the male-dominated Catholic hierarchy." V. A. Musetto of the New York Post has a review.

24 August 410: "the 9/11 of the ancient world"

On August 24, 410, Imperial Rome was sacked by an invading force of Visigoths from northern Europe, an event that has been compared with September 11, 2001 in the United States.

Dig hopes to uncover bones of 14th century Scottish bishop

A team of archaeologists is hoping to find the remains of Bernard of Kilwinning, the 14th century Scottish bishop who drafted the Declaration of Arbroath. The team is excavating a medieval monastery in the Ayrshire town of Kilwinning.

Guide for a True Knight

The Imperial Constantinian Military Order of Saint George, which follows principles dating back to the Emperor Constantin, seeks to bring their ideals into the 21st century. One way is through the "Quest," the Thirteen Rules of Chivalry.

Holy graffiti

Experts in Fife, Scotland believe a cross carved into the wall of a farm could be "holy graffiti" created by a 13th century pilgrim on his way to the tomb of Saint Margaret. The stone was later used to build the farmer's wall.

Faddan More Psalter most important Irish discovery since 19th century

The fragments of a vellum manuscript of a book of psalms dating to the 8th century has excited the archaeological community in Ireland who have called it the “most important day in the history of the museum since 1868 when the Ardagh Chalice came in."