Lynda Coon, University of Arkansas
Lecture Abstract: "Dark Age Jesus" engages a field typically off the map of the "spatial turn" in the humanities, that is, the era of the Carolingian Empire (751-987), when Jesus's body became part of a spatial practice of ascetic males living in same-sex communities in Northern Europe. The Dark Age spatial imaginary expressed itself in three distinct ways: the crucified god in physical space, the deity in mental space, and Christ in social space. The wounded body of the Savior haunted the sacred architecture of the empire's monasteries, the virtual practices of monks, and the rhythms of daily life in the cloister.
Lynda Coon is a professor of history and chair of the Department of History at the University of Arkansas. Her work explores the intersection of gender, sexuality, and religious practice in the early medieval era, circa 600-900. Her most recent work, Dark Age Bodies, has been nominated for the Jacques Barzun Prize in cultural history, the Philip Schaff Prize in church history, the James Henry Breasted Prize for best monograph in historical fields prior to the year 1000 C.E., and the John Gilmary Shea Book Prize in the history of the Catholic Church. She has won both the Fulbright College Master Teacher and the Charles and Nadine Baum University of Arkansas Teaching Award.