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Mother of the Lamb: The Story of a Global Icon with Matthew Milliner


Fieldstead welcomed Dr. Matthew Milliner to discuss his recent book, Mother of the Lamb: The Story of a Global Icon. Mother of the Lamb tells the remarkable story of a Byzantine image that emerged from the losing side of the Crusades. Called the Virgin of the Passion in the East and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the West, the icon has expanded beyond its Byzantine origins to become one of the most pervasive images of our time. It boasts multiple major shrines on nearly every continent and is reflected in every epoch of art history since its origin, even making an appearance at the Olympics in 2012.


Milliner chronicled the story of the icon's creation and emergence in the immediate aftermath of the Third Crusade, whereupon the icon became a surprising emblem of defeat, its own fame expanding in inverse proportion to Christendom's political contraction. Originally born as a Christian response to the Christian violence of the Crusades, it marked the moment when Mary's ministry of suffering love truly began. Having traced the icon's origin and ubiquity, Milliner teased out the painting's theological depth, and continued the story of the icon's evolution and significance from its origins to the present day.



Dr. Milliner holds an M.A. & Ph.D. in art history from Princeton University, and an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a six-time appointee to the Curatorial Advisory Board of the United States Senate, and has written for publications ranging from The New York Times to First Things. He was awarded a Commonwealth fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and is author most recently of The Everlasting People: G.K. Chesterton and the First Nations and Mother of the Lamb: The Story of a Global Icon.


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