Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Carl Raschke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Christina Kreps

Third Advisor

Gregory Robbins


Abbot Suger, Art and the ineffable, Divine inspiration, Public aesthetics, Saint Denis Abbey, Silent soliloquy


Abbot Suger transformed the twelfth-century medieval Saint Denis abbey from a didactic Romanesque prayer hall to a spiritually illuminating pre-Gothic worship center. The extant culture, although primarily illiterate, was poised on the threshold of Scholasticism, the rational pursuit of "reason," which challenged the Christian doctrine of "faith." Abbot Suger, fully aware of the secular threat, was suitably positioned to be a significant instrument for saving souls from the diversion of their trust in God toward a reliance on logical thinking. Suger undertook a major art restoration campaign for the Saint Denis abbey to create an environment of public aesthetics that engendered a new, heightened experience of worship and devotion that illuminated God's Sovereignty. Suger synthesized centuries of philosophy and theology to manifest a silent soliloquy of what was ineffable at the time.

Michel Foucault's method of intellectual archeological inquiry is used to gather relevant information, which contributed to Suger's vision and his artistic practice. Suger's art restoration in the Saint Denis abbey manifested the aesthetics of anagogical agency to lift the heads of worshipers toward a theophany of Divine Wisdom.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Sandra Jean Ceas


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

125 p.


Aesthetics, Medieval history, Spirituality