Book Series Convivium Supplementum, vol. 3

The Notion of Liminality and the Medieval Sacred Space

Ivan Foletti, Klára Doležalová (eds)

  • Pages: 162 p.
  • Size:210 x 270 mm
  • Illustrations:92 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2020

  • ISBN: 978-80-210-9453-6
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-80-280-0020-2
  • E-book
  • Available


“This publication is a useful tool for scholars and the interested public. Its beautiful layout makes it easy to verify the arguments in the images, usually placed on the same page and printed in a very good quality.” (Armin Bergmeier in Eikón Imago, 10, 2021, p. 453)

« Soutenu par le grand nombre d'illustrations et la belle qualité d'impression du volume, le lecteur se nourrit ainsi des réflexions sur la liminarité qu'il pourra par la suite étendre à ses propres dossiers de recherche, au-delà du présent volume strictement cantonné à l'histoire de l'art. » (Bénédicte Sère, in SEHEPUNKTE, 10, 2021)



The thematic frame of this issue is the anthropological notion of liminality, applied both to physical as well as imaginary places of transition in medieval art. The volume is thus dedicated to the phenomenon of the limen, the threshold in medieval culture, understood mainly as a spatial, ritual and temporal category. The structure of the book follows the virtual path of any medieval visitor entering the sacred space. While doing so, the visitor encountered and eventually crossed several "liminal zones" that have been constructed around a series of physical and mental thresholds. In order to truly access the sacred – once again both physically and metaphorically – many transitional (micro)rituals were required and were therefore given particular attention within this volume. The volume was published as proceedings of the Liminality and Medieval Art II conference, which was held in October 2018 at the Masaryk University in Brno. Authors were supposed to conceive their contributions in pairs in order to reflect on the selected topics with an interdisciplinary approach. In the end, the very same pattern was also maintained for the final publication.


Klára Doležalová & Ivan Foletti
Liminality and Medieval Art. From Space to Rituals and to the Imagination


Ivan Foletti & Katarína Kravčíková
Closed Doors as Bearers and Constructors of Images. Santa Sabina in Rome and Notre Dame du Puy

Sible De Blaauw & Klára Doležalová
Constructing Liminal Space? Curtains in Late Antique and Early Medieval Churches

Vlad Bedros & Elisabetta Scirocco
Liturgical Screens, East and West. Liminality and Spiritual Experience

Chiara Croci
The Depiction of the Acta Martyrum During the Early Middle Ages. Hints from a Liminal Space, the Transept of Santa Prassede in Rome (817–824)

Jan Klípa & Eliška Poláčková
Tabulae cum portis, vela, cortinae and sudaria. Remarks on the Liminal Zonesin the Liturgical and Para-Liturgical Contexts in the Late Middle Ages

John Mitchell & Nicholas Pickwoad
"Blessed Are the Eyes Which See Divine Spirit Through the Letter’s Veil." The Book as Object and Idea