The current issue of LOGOS: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture features Christendom History Professor Christopher O. Blum’s essay “Vézelay: The Mountain of the Lord.”
The essay, with seven accompanying photographs, is an introduction to one of the greatest monuments of Romanesque art, the abbey church of St. Mary Magdalene at Vézelay, in the Burgundy region of France. The image reproduced on the journal’s cover shows one of the column capitals of the abbey church’s nave, the capital of the Mystic Mill, sculpted in the early twelfth century. The sculpture depicts St. Paul milling flour from grain poured into a hand mill by one of the prophets of the Old Testament and signifies the truth that the fulness of Revelation can be understood only in Christ. It is a fitting example of the rich spiritual meaning of the art of the abbey church.
Professor Blum first visited Vézelay in the summer of 1998 when he was a participant in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer faculty seminar on Gothic and Romanesque architecture in France. Since then he has regularly taught classes involving medieval Catholic art, and hopes to incorporate more art history into the history section of the College’s core curriculum.