Maxwell Institute

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Catherine Taylor’s recent Maxwell Institute Scholar Lecture is now available online: “The Lady at the Gate: Women as Holy Gatekeepers in Early Christian Iconography.”


Early Christians spent a lot of time with their dead. They carefully curated rites and memorial images that not only commemorated their deceased loved ones, but also connected and legitimized them with biblical narratives. The ritual practices of lament, the patronage of burials, and the care of the dead often fell to women. They were the physical and spiritual gatekeepers between life and death, but they were also the iconic initiatory figures for prophetic, even salvific acts.

Learn more in this Maxwell Institute Scholar Lecture.

About Catherine Taylor

Catherine Gines Taylor is a visiting scholar at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute and adjunct faculty in the Humanities department at Brigham Young University. She specializes in late antique Christian art history and iconography. Dr. Taylor holds graduate degrees from the University of Manchester and Brigham Young University. Her work is focused on the interdisciplinary study of art, scripture, lay piety, Christian patronage, and patristic texts. More specifically, her research centers on images of women in early Christian contexts. Her monograph on the iconography of the Annunciation is being published by Brill, 2017. Dr. Taylor’s current research investigates the typologies of Susanna and Wisdom on sarcophagi and within funerary contexts.

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