Events » Lecture » Holy Grail and Sacred Thorn: An evening with Dr. Kathryn Barush

Holy Grail and Sacred Thorn: An evening with Dr. Kathryn Barush

April 24, 2013 at 7:00pm

Holy Grail and Sacred Thorn: Art and Material Culture of the Glastonbury Pilgrimage - According to an ancient legend, Joseph of Arimathea had traveled first to Gaul and then Britain where he founded Glastonbury Abbey. In one version of the story, he was accompanied by the child Christ, who built a model church out of twigs (described in a letter from St Augustine of Canterbury to Pope Gregory), and in another Joseph brought the Gospel and the Holy Grail to the island after the Resurrection, to which he bore witness. 'England's Jerusalem', as Glastonbury is known, is considered holy ground to this day, with pilgrims visiting the thorn tree that was said to have sprouted from Joseph's staff. These leylines and legends have inspired a variety of artistic responses, from the Romantic painter-poet William Blake to Brother Aidan Hart, a 20th century British icon painter trained in Greece and based in Shropshire.

This lecture will consider the revived tradition of pilgrimage to Glastonbury, with a focus on the material culture and visual narratives inspired by the sacred journey through the landscapes and architectures of ancient Avalon. The lecture will be accompanied by images and sounds drawn from five centuries of Glastonbury pilgrimage culture.
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Doug Adams Gallery / Bade Museum / Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley CA

Dr. Kathryn R. Barush received her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2011, and is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She is completing a book on the intersections of pilgrimage and visual imagination in early-to-mid nineteenth-century British art. She has worked as a curatorial assistant at the Yale University Center for British Art, and continues to contribute as a research affiliate to Yale’s Material and Visual Cultures of Religion research network.

Sponsored by the Swedenborgian House of Studies (SHS) / Graduate Theological Union