Cult of Propaganda: Monastic Dominance as Displayed in Canterbury Cathedral's Saintly Iconography
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Art History
Dr. Alexis Culotta
Dr. Melissa Elmes
Dr. Jeanette Nicewinter
This thesis examines the iconography in the windows of the Early English saints Dunstan and Alphege as depicted in England’s Canterbury Cathedral. In the windows of St. Dunstan, one can see how the saint saves the monarchs from the flames of hell. It also shows what can happen to those that would question or challenge the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The windows of St. Alphege show a dedicated man of the church ready to give his life to help save the town’s people from an unruly group of invaders. These windows were added to the eastern arm of the cathedral as part of the massive building campaign following fire damage in 1174. This renovation coincided with the rise of the Cult of St. Thomas. This thesis will argue that these windows are an attempt by the monks residing there to resurrect the cults of the Early English saints to show their power and might over the Church of England and the English monarchs. Dunstan was a known reformer and statesman who championed the cause of the Church of England as well as advised the monarchs in his various monastic roles. The monks would show their long history as the main Primate of England by including these saints. Alphege would give his life for the church and fellow countrymen only to be celebrated by the invaders of England that would eventually claim the throne of England.
Breazeale, Jon Talvin, "Cult of Propaganda: Monastic Dominance as Displayed in Canterbury Cathedral's Saintly Iconography" (2022). Theses. 140.
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Copyright 2022, Jon Talvin Breazeale