Cover: The Maze and the Warrior: Symbols in Architecture, Theology, and Music, from Harvard University PressCover: The Maze and the Warrior in PAPERBACK

The Maze and the Warrior

Symbols in Architecture, Theology, and Music

Add to Cart

Product Details


$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674013636

Publication Date: 05/01/2004

Academic Trade

368 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

68 halftones, 7 line illustrations, 18 musical examples, 1 map, 2 tables


The Maze and the Warrior is quite a book. The author wears his great learning with great lightness… He has fashioned this book for general readers rather than musicologists and musicians.—Joseph Kerman, The New York Review of Books

Wright’s maze is the labyrinth. His warrior is Theseus, Christ, the Christian soldier, l’homme armé, the pilgrim, or the lover, who enters the labyrinth to meet a challenge at its center and continues through the unicursal path to a victorious exit. In direct and engaging prose, this book traces the two symbols from their first appearance in literature and architecture, through their interpretations in theology, to the ceremonies, games, and performances they inspired… It is a work of major consequence… Wright’s book invites no less than a new appraisal of the history and historiography of Western music, one more cognizant of myth, belief, and symbol as generative forces in human creativity.—Barbara Haggh, Journal of the American Musicological Society

The book is a fascinating exploration of a neglected aspect of medieval religious culture which opens up multiple aspects of that culture through the author’s virtuoso power to unfold layer after layer of meaning from what might originally seem an innocuous symbol.—Peter W. Williams, Religious Studies Review

This book is a fascinating look at a subject that, while simple in concept, is intricate in the tapestry of ideas it combines. Wright weaves a fascinating tale of scholarly inquiry by examining the maze or labyrinth from the Middle Ages to the present in Western art, architecture, music, dance, and religious thought. The journey of the maze is from sin to salvation; the savior figure that leads us is the warrior and spiritual seeker… His particular emphasis on music is refreshing and enlivens readers’ understanding of the whole sensory experience of the Christian church. Most important, this work is a joy to read and reflect on.—L. L. Lam-Easton, Choice

This is an excellent book, by one of our leading musicologists. The Maze and the Warrior is a grand work, full of erudition, speculation, wisdom. It is a remarkable fusion of mystical and mythic interests with traditional humanistic disciplines.—Thomas Kelly, Harvard University

Wright supplies deep grounding for today’s renewed interest in mazes. His cumulative description of the playful/serious historical mind fascinated by mazes, whether in poetry, gardens, churches, or music, contains some delightful surprises.—Margaret Miles, Graduate Theological Union

A book of immense erudition. At virtually every turn the reader finds information of considerable interest not only for music historians but also for art historians, liturgists, church historians, and even the modern social historian. Wright makes the traversal of his maze a particularly enjoyable and illuminating experience.—Alejandro Enrique Planchart, University of California, Santa Barbara

Awards & Accolades

  • Honorable Mention, 2001 Association of American Publishers PSP Award, Arts Category
The Proof: Uses of Evidence in Law, Politics, and Everything Else, by Frederick Schauer, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Graphic: Golden yellow stylized sun

HUP ReadUP: Summer Reads

We asked our colleagues, “What is one word you would use to describe an ideal summer read?” Their answers range across all the summer feels, from those easygoing lazy hazy days to that voltage of energy that fires up a reawakening. What’s more, their responses include book recommendations sure to help you breeze through the sunny season—from our own library as well as those of fellow university presses.