Book Series Convivium Supplementum, vol. 8

Means of Christian Conversion in Late Antiquity

Objects, Bodies, and Rituals

Klára Doležalová, Ivan Foletti, Katarína Kravčíková, Pavla Tichá (eds)

  • Pages: 172 p.
  • Size:210 x 270 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • ISBN: 978-80-210-9979-1
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-80-210-9980-7
  • E-book
  • Available


This volume presents the proceedings of the conference Materiality and Conversion: The Role of Material and Visual Cultures in the Christianization of the Latin West organized by the Centre for Early Medieval Studies in 2020. Its contributions thus focus on the Christianization of the Roman Empire between the fourth and sixth centuries. The studies examine the religious change through the “material turn” approach, building on the material and sensorial dimension of Christian conversion and especially the baptismal rite as one of the key components of the process. The material and visual cultures are regarded as vectors and witnesses of conversion to Christianity, while human body is viewed as one of the agents in ritual actions. The volume covers a wide range of topics, including the prebaptismal purification, the moment of immersion in the baptismal font, the postbaptismal alteration of perception, as well as the continuous changes in funeral forms. As such, the papers attempt to shed more light on the role of materiality in the complex and rapid conversion to Christianity in Late Antique West.


Klára Doležalová, Ivan Foletti, Katarína Kravčíková, & Pavla Tichá,


Barbara Bruderer, A Prolegomenon to the Evolution of the Consecration of Baptismal Water in the Latin West as a Performative and Sensorial Activation of the Invisible: The Roman Rite (3rd–9th centuries)
Markéta Kulhánková and Pavla Tichá, The Phrygianum Neighboring Old Saint Peter’s on Vatican Hill in the Time of Conversion
Robin Jensen, Conversion to Jesus as a Healer God: Visual and Textual Evidence 
Gajane Achverdjanová and Ivan Foletti, Purifying Body and Soul: Late Antique Combs, Their Use and Visual Culture
Zuzana Frantová, Luxury for Everyone (?): Ivory Diptychs and Their Use in the Baptismal Liturgy
Juliette Day, Materiality and the Sensation of Sin in Late Antique Pre-Baptismal Rituals. The Short-Lived “Rite of the Cilicium”
Megan Bunce, Shrines, Special Burials, and the Christianization of Britain
Alžběta Filipová and Adrien Palladino, Converting Minds, Eyes, and Bodies? The Early Cult of Relics between Rhetoric and Material Practices in Northern Italy and Gallia