This work investigates the medieval understanding of sacred place. It argues for the centrality of bodies and bodily metaphors to the establishment, function, use and power of medieval churches. Using Chartres Cathedral as a focal point, the intimate relationship between the two facades of Christian sacred place, building and body are laid bare and the traditional division of sacred and profane jurisdictions is questioned.Examining non-devotional uses of churches in the Middle Ages, the author shows how the tension between the jurisdictions of sacred and profane operated as a defining binary of medieval culture and society and plots the development of the sacred in relation to emerging political, economic and social groups and trends.

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