December 3, 2004

Little Theater, Quad 346, SJU

Nathanael Hauser, OSB

Christmas in Naples: The Theological Art of the Italian Presepio

In the seventeenth century, the nobility of Naples began to open their palaces to the public in order to display their new Christmas scenes. These "multimedia" productions showed the Holy Family surrounded by townspeople, travelers and angels and were viewed to the accompaniment of music and lightshows. The displays became more and more spectacular as the noble families vied with each other to show the finest piece. However, behind their prestige value, these works teach important theological lessons concerning the Incarnation--of God becoming a human being. This talk will concentrate on the symbolic elements of the Italian Christmas scene and explore the theological insights that are behind this very popular form of visual theology.

All are welcome to attend!