Stefanie Lenk

As a member of Empires of Faith, I am writing my doctoral thesis under the supervision of Jaś Elsner and Gervase Rosser on the question of why pre-Christian imagery was used to decorate baptisteries of the 5th and 6th century in the Western Mediterranean. One of EoF’s research areas is the transmission and continuous use of imagery through time and across religions, and this is where my main research interest lies.

Before EoF, I studied history of art, history, curating and medieval studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin, at the Università degli Studi in Florence, at the Courtauld Institute in London and at the University of Oxford (2008-2013).

I also work as the lead curator of the Empires of Faith exhibition that is going to take place in the autumn 2017 in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Together with my colleagues, I am currently preparing, I belief, the first show ever to present early Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish and Christian art on an equal footing. I have previously curated exhibitions of modern and contemporary art at the Courtauld Gallery in London, together with my colleagues of the M.A. programme ‘Curating the Art Museum’, and at the Kunstverein Wilhelmshöhe in Ettlingen by virtue of having won the Wolfgang Hartmann prize for young art historians (2013).

Regarding EoF’s other projects, I had the great pleasure to write ‘Images of Mithra’ (OUP, 2017) together with Dominic, Philippa, Rachel and Robert. For the project’s forthcoming historiography volume on the inception of late antique art history, I have started doing research on a group of 19th century theologians who created links between Protestant theology and art history – a research area that I am planning to explore further.


Selected Publications:

Philippa Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Stefanie Lenk, Rachel Wood: Images of Mithra. Oxford University Press (2017)

Stefanie Lenk: Iberian Christians and the classical past – The baptistery of Milreu/Estói (Algarve) at the end of late antiquity, in: Horst Bredekamp, Stefan Trinks (eds.) “Transformatio et continuatio. Styles of Change and Continuity on the Iberian Peninsula”. De Gruyter, New York (2017)

Jas’ Elsner, Stefanie Lenk et. al., Imagining the Divine. Art and the Rise of World Religions (Exhibition catalogue, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 19 October 2017-18 February 2018) (forthcoming)

Stefanie Lenk: Ferdinand Piper’s ‘Monumental Theology’ – The Attempted Foundation of a Protestant Theology of Art. Historiographical volume of the Empires of Faith project (in preparation)

Stefanie Lenk: Cristãos Ibéricos e Antiguidade Clássica — o Baptistério de Milreu/Estói (Algarve) nos Finais da Antiguidade Tardia. O Arqueólogo Português supplement (submitted)

Stefanie Lenk (ed.): “SUBLIME | Martha Parsey – Marc Fromm (21 September – 27 October 2013)”. Exhibition Catalogue, Kunstverein Wilhelmshöhe, Ettlingen



Courtauld Exhibitions