In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Images of Salvation:The Story of the Bible through Medieval Art
  • Francisco Gago-Jover

A frequent complaint among those who teach about the Middle Ages is the lack of religious background knowledge among students. Undergraduates especially are often unaware of the major biblical narratives and the iconography associated with them. To remedy this deficiency, teachers constantly search for appropriate texts and images, but most of the time they either come up empty-handed or find one but not the other. Fortunately, the CD-ROM Images of Salvation: The Story of the Bible through Medieval Art,1 now in its second edition, offers a treasure trove of texts, images, and accompanying commentaries. Each of the forty-four themes into which the work is divided includes summaries of the key points and relevant texts from the Bible and later commentators, along with a selection of medieval images -stained glass windows, manuscripts, frescoes, and sculptures- that bring the stories to life. [End Page 197]

Requirements and Installation

Images of Salvation is a Web-based product with recommended minimum system requirements (4x CD-ROM, 1024x768 screen resolution, and one of the following internet browsers: Firefox 1, Internet Explorer 5, Netscape 7, and Safari 7) that can be met by most up-to-date computers. The program is designed to launch when inserted in the CD drive, but in some cases software upgrades and security measures prevent it from starting automatically.2 It is possible to copy the folder with all the html files (Images_of_Salvation) to the hard drive and run it by double clicking on IOSFRAME.HTM.

Interface and Navigation

Simplicity and functionality best describe the interface of Images of Salvation. Selecting Browse by Theme in the initial screen brings up the main browser window (fig. 1), which is horizontally divided in two sections:

  1. 1. The Navigation Bar, a fixed frame located at the top of the page, provides quick access to all the components of the program (Help, Themes, Search, Glossary, and Bibliography).

  2. 2. The Content Window, where the selected contents are displayed.

Users are aware of their location in the program thanks to the small text links that always appear at the top of the content window, just underneath the navigation bar. Black links show the path of the current page, the last entry in the list. Clicking on a red text link in the chain will take the user back to the corresponding page.

Images of Salvation makes very good use of color to indicate different link categories. Blue links indicate themes; red links indicate glossary or bibliographical entries; green links indicate literary texts. Clicking on a red or green link opens a small pop-up window containing the Glossary, Bibliography, or the related text. Depending on the word or author linked, the Glossary and Bibliography links will jump to the relevant entry. [End Page 198]


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Fig. 1.

Browse by Theme page illustrating the themes to choose from and a brief theme summary for the Annunciation.

Contents and Structure

Images of Salvation provides detailed information on the following forty-four major themes from the Old and the New Testaments (see table 1). Themes are always structured in a two-level configuration: "Theme Introduction" page (fig. 2) and "Image" pages (fig. 3).

Each introductory page presents the same four-fold organization:

  1. 1. Key Points. A brief summary of the most important aspects of the theme in question; these points will be further developed in the Doctrine and Sources and Commentary sections.

  2. 2. Images. Thumbnails of the images that feature the theme in question; clicking on them takes to the corresponding Image page.

  3. 3. Doctrine. A detailed explanation of the doctrinal significance of the theme in question. In the case of the Annunciation, this section details its placement in the cycle of the life of Christ, the relation and contrast between Eve and the Virgin, the parallels between the Old and New Testaments, the relation of the event with the Ave Maria prayer, and the location of the theme in the liturgical calendar. [End Page 199]


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    Table 1.

    The major themes covered by Images of Salvation.

    [End Page 200...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 197-203
Launched on MUSE
2009-08-21
Open Access
No
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