Author Spotlight: Stephen Miller
Learn more about our contributors to Medieval World: Culture & Conflict. Here is another "Author Spotlight", featuring Stephen Miller.
Stephen Miller is a visual arts and theology scholar. He received his Master’s in Christianity and the Arts from King’s College London, in association with The National Gallery, London. He is the author of three monographs, The Word made Visible in the Painted Image (2016), The Book of Angels: Seen and Unseen (2019), and The Green Man in Medieval England: Christian Shoots from Pagan Roots (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2022).
This project prompted the feature article on the Green Man motif in Medieval World: Culture and Conflict (MWCC.3). "Christian Shoots, Pagan Roots: The Green Man in Medieval England" (14-17) examines the various traditions that may have informed the representation of foliate heads in medieval sculpture. Common throughout the medieval world, but especially in Romanesque England, the Green Man motif was visually inspired by pagan traditions but its meanings relate to Christian stories of resurrection and salvation.
As the author writes: "The Green Man is indeed Everyman, in all of his death-bound and life-renewing stages of exuberance, torment, and ecstasy. The motif is not, in any specific or particular sense, an appropriation of ancient nature gods such as Dionysius/Bacchus, or Pan, or some Mesopotamian equivalent – although such imagery could have initially offered stone masons and woodcarvers a degree of purely visual inspiration for a more precise and focused Christian rendering." (17)
Stephen's latest book is focused on the period immediately following the Norman Conquest of England, in 1066, through the Romanesque and Gothic periods of church history. He has contributed articles, reviews and reference material to a range of academic journals (art and theology) and regularly contributes to De Gruyter’s annual Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (CHOICE ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ recipient, 2020).
His ongoing research interests focus on the theology of images. Formerly a research editor in the City of London, Stephen is now an author and freelance writer, columnist and educator living in North London.