"So clear and direct it can easily serve as a solid introductory text;at the same time it is so thoroughly researched it will serve scholars of early Christian history, liturgy, and art for years to come. This much-welcome and much-needed volume is not to be missed."--Todd Johnson, Fuller Theological Seminary
Robin Jensen, a leading scholar of early Christian art and worship, illuminates the theological meaning of baptism by exploring multiple dimensions of the early Christian baptismal rite. She examines five models for understanding baptism, showing how visual images, poetic language, architectural space, and symbolic actions signify and convey the theological meaning of this ritual practice. Considering image and action together, Jensen offers a holistic and integrated understanding of the power of baptism. The book is illustrated with photos and will be useful to professors and students in courses on theology, ritual studies, liturgy, and sacraments as well as to art historians and archaeologists.
1. Baptism as Cleansing from Sin and Sickness
2. Incorporation into the Community
3. Baptism as Sanctifying and Illuminative
4. Baptism as Death and Regeneration
5. Baptism as the Beginning of the New Creation