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Robin Jensen

Luce Chancellor’s Professor of the History of Christian Art and Worship

Robin Jensen is the Luce Chancellor’s Professor of the History of Christian Art and Worship at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches courses in both the Department of the History of Art and the Divinity School. Most of her research and publication focuses on the interpretation of early Christian art and architecture in light of its theological significance, ritual performance, and cultural context. Her courses include introductions to Jewish and Christian pictorial hermeneutics; visual representations of God, the Trinity, Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints; the religious art of Late Antiquity; and the art of the early Roman empire. She also teaches the Introduction to Liturgy and regularly offers courses on sacred time and space.


Jensen’s most recent books are Living Water: Images, Symbols, and Settings of Early Christian Baptism (Brill, 2011), and Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity (Baker Academic, 2012).  Her other books include Understanding Early Christian Art (Routledge, 2000); Face to Face: Portraits of the Divine in Early Christianity (Fortress, 2005) and The Substance of Things Seen: Art, Faith and the Christian Community (Eerdmans, 2004); She was also a contributing editor and essayist to Picturing the Bible: The Earliest Christian Art (Yale, 2008), and co-editor of Visual Theology (Liturgical Press, 2010). She is currently completing a book with her husband, Patout Burns: The Practice of Christianity in Roman Africa, due to be published in the spring of 2012 and is  finishing a monograph on early Christian iconography titled The Epiphanic Character of Early Christian Art.