Wayfare
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Meet the Early-day Saints Episode 11: Work for the Dead, with Catherine Gines Taylor
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Meet the Early-day Saints Episode 11: Work for the Dead, with Catherine Gines Taylor

“Death was an immediate and visceral reality for early Christians. So much of their worship inclined their hearts to their dead, through ritual, ordinance, art, burial, and more.”

When Latter-day Saints think of “work for the dead,” we immediately think of performing ordinances on their behalf in temples. Dr. Catherine Gines Taylor shows that ancient Christians had a much more expansive understanding of what work for the dead could include, in ways that can resonate to the present. Through prayer, good works, memorial meals, vigil keeping, and in beautiful works of art, early Christians stayed connected to loved ones who had passed on. We discuss Taylor’s chapter, “Inclining Christian Hearts: Work for the Dead,” in Ancient Christians: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints.

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About the Guest

Catherine Gines Taylor was the Hugh W. Nibley Postdoctoral Fellow at BYU’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. She specializes in late antique Christian art history and iconography. She earned her PhD in art history at the University of Manchester. 

About the Host

Blair Hodges earned a bachelor’s degree in communications (journalism) at the University of Utah and a master’s degree in religious studies at Georgetown University. He hosts Fireside with Blair Hodges and previously hosted the Maxwell Institute Podcast at Brigham Young University.

Cover art by Charlotte Condie

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