Stained Glass As Mass Media? – by Madison Stapels

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Today we traveled to the lovely town of Cambridge where we were lucky enough to go inside the King’s College Chapel.  First of all, walking through the small town was amazing as well as absolutely beautiful.  Although having a few preconceived notions about what the town may look like from films and the like, I was still surprised about how small it is, but also how busy it was.

As we got closer and closer to the chapel, the buildings became more and more beautiful.  They were so old and you could tell they held a lot of history in their walls.

Despite the beautiful nature and architecture we had already walked past, the chapel takes the cake. It was built in the late 15th century and had amazing stained glass all around the top of the chapel.  Mallory Wober, our guide for the day told a little bit of the background history on the chapel.

The stained glass around the north side of the building tells the story of the New Testament – something I honestly am not too familiar with because I am not a religious person.  What was interesting for me about it was not the religious aspect of it, but rather what it did for those who were religious at the time it was built.

In the late 15th century there wasn’t much written word and people didn’t always know how to read.  People would listen to others tell stories rather than reading them. What these stained glass images did for them was to put something visual to an auditory story.

These amazing pieces of stained glass were a way for so many people to communicate the stories of the bible in a way that the masses could understand, and are still being used today – a truly remarkable form of mass media and communication.

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