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New book from Franciscan Institute Publications
Published Saturday, September 14, 2013
by Franciscan Institute Publications

Franciscan Institute Publications announces the release of Beyond the Text:  Franciscan Art and the Construction of Religion edited by Christ the King Seminary Professor, Father Xavier Seubert, OFM, and Oleg Bychkov, PhD.
Art frequently reveals what is not or cannot be articulated in words. Textual evidence, however, is very often the exclusive or privileged tool for  understanding the past.  From art historical, social, theological and philosophical perspectives, the essays in this volume probe the art and visual culture of the early Franciscan movement to reveal insights and nuances of   the life and power of this revolutionary phase of the Catholic religion.

Contributors to this collection are William Barcham, Oleg Bychkov, William Cook, Theresa Flanigan, David Flood, Holly Flora, Cristina Cruz Gonzalez, David Haack, Trinita Kennedy, Irving Lavin, Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, Robert Lentz, Beth Mulvaney, Lynn Ransom, Xavier Seubert.

Beyond the Text has an ambitious and integrative goal. Its signal originality is the manner in which it collates the work of serious and accomplished art historians with that of serious and accomplished theologians and religious historians. 

It achieves a comprehensiveness of vision that will make the book required reading for scholars in many disciplines for whom Francis and his friars are subjects of serious interest. Medievalist in several disciplines will welcome this important and ground-breaking book.  Art historians will particularly appreciate the high quality of its generous pictorial illustration.

  - John V. Fleming, Professor of English, Emeritus, Princeton University

XAVIER JOHN SEUBERT, OFM, holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from the University of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany and is a graduate of New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. He was recently appointed Professor of Liturgy and  Sacramental Theology at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, NY and is the Thomas Plassmann Distinguished Professor of Art and Theology Emeritus at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY.  He has also taught at The Washington Theological Union and Villanova University. His main interests are the relationship between religious symbolism and the artistic process, Franciscan and Byzantine art history and the sacraments of Christian Initiation. He has published articles in Worship, Cross Currents, New Theology Review, and The Heythrop Journal  and is presently working on a book on the sacramentality of art.  He is a frequent lecturer at  The Cloisters of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

OLEG BYCHKOV, PHD, is a Professor of Theology at St. Bonaventure University. He joined St. Bonaventure Theology Department in the Fall of 1999. He holds a PhD from the Center for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto (1999). His areas of expertise are classical languages, medieval philosophy and theology, and contemporary aesthetics. He has authored and co-edited several books, including Aesthetic Revelation (CUA Press, 2010), and published essays and encyclopedia entries on ancient, medieval and contemporary aesthetics. With Allan Wolter, OFM, he edited and translated, and Franciscan Institute Publications published, John Duns Scotus’s Examined Report of the Paris Lecture (Reportatio I-A) (Volume 1 2004 and Volume 2 2008).

Hardcover, September 2013      252 pages
ISBN:  978-1-57659-340-0     $65.00
Books can be ordered from, or from the Franciscan Institute Publications website at
Jill Smith
Phone: (716) 375-2062
FRANCISCAN INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS - - is a leading publisher of books and journals on medieval Franciscan history, sources, spirituality, philosophy and theology as well as contemporary issues on Franciscan life and ministry.  It has published critical editions on, for example, the works of John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Adam de Wodeham and Peter of John Olivi.  Known for many years for its critical editions of leading medieval Franciscan philosophers and theologians, Franciscan Institute Publications has more recently endeavored to make available to a wider reading public the very best of modern scholarship on the history, spirituality and intellectual tradition of the Franciscan movement.  Our scholar/authors include Robert J. Karris, Jean-Francois Godet-Calogeras, David Flood, Jacques Dalarun, Kenan Osborne, Mary Beth Ingham, Oleg Bychkov, Margaret Carney, Maria Pia Alberzoni, David Burr, Joe Chinnici, Wayne Hellmann, Jay Hammond, Tim Johnson, Darleen Pryds, Steven McMichael, Luigi Pellegrini, Thomas  Renna, Ilia Delio, Thomas Shannon and many more.