The Phiale as a Spatial Icon
This paper examines phialae as spatial icons by focusing on their micro-architecture and related spiritual and sacramental meanings. Similar in architectural form and meaning to ablution and baptismal fonts, phialae were distinct installations for holy water fonts, which were used for ceremonies related to the blessing of holy water but would also invoke references to the cleansing of sins and the sacrament of baptism.
This proceeding was published in the Life-Giving Source. Water in the Hierotopy and Iconography of the Christian World: Materials from the Christian World. Edited by Alexei Lidov. Moscow: Russian Academy of Arts, 2014.