What can we learn from early Christian imagery about the theological meaning of baptism? Robin Jensen, a leading scholar of early Christian art and worship, examines multiple dimensions of the early Christian baptismal rite. She explores five models for understanding baptism--as cleansing from sin, sickness, and Satan; as incorporation into the community; as sanctifying and illuminative; as death and regeneration; and as the beginning of the new creation--showing how visual images, poetic language, architectural space, and symbolic actions signify and convey the theological meaning of this ritual practice. Considering image and action together, Jensen offers a holistic and integrated understanding of the power of baptism. The book is illustrated with photos.
Robin M. Jensen (PhD, Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary) is Patrick O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. She previously taught at Vanderbilt University. She has authored several books, including Face to Face: Portraits of the Divine in Early Christianity and Understanding Early Christian Art.