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The Forbidden Image : An Intellectual History of Iconaclasm - Alain Besancon

The Forbidden Image

An Intellectual History of Iconaclasm

By: Alain Besancon, Jane Marie Todd (Translator)

Hardcover Published: 9th May 2001
ISBN: 9780226044132
Number Of Pages: 432

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How did the representation of the divine come to be an issue of philosophical import? Why was the biblical proscription of "graven images" interpreted differently by Jews, Muslims, and Christians? How have modern thinkers and artists addressed notions of the sacred in the realm of art? The Forbidden Image traces the dual strains of "iconophilia" and iconoclasm, the privileging and prohibition of religious images, over a span of two and half millennia in the West.

Philosophers and theologians have long engaged in intense debate and introspection over the representation of the deity, its possibilities and its proscriptions. Alain Besançon's work begins with a comprehensive examination of the status of the image in Greek, Judaic, Islamic, and Christian thought. The author then addresses arguments regarding the moral authority of the image in both Eastern and Western European Christianity from the medieval through the early modern periods, and analyzes the Roman Catholic Church's rhetorical use of images to educate and stir viewers to piety. Besançon completes The Forbidden Image with an examination of how iconophilia and iconoclasm have been debated in the modern period by thinkers as diverse as Calvin, Pascal, Kant, and Hegel, concluding the volume with a discussion of how these theological and intellectual currents have transformed European painting.

Now available in English translation, The Forbidden Image is an in-depth study of a topic of long-standing philosophical, religious, and artistic significance. This highly acclaimed work will reach a new audience of readers in the fields of intellectual and art history, religion, and philosophy.

Industry Reviews

"Even the reader who has heard something of the Byzantine quarrels about images and their theological background will be surprised by a learned and convincing interpretation of the works of Mondrian, Kandinsky, and Malevich in terms of religiously inspired iconoclasm.... This is an immensely rich and powerful masterpiece." - Leszek Kolakowski, Times Literary Supplement"

Iconoclasm: The Ancient Cycle
The Philosophical Critique of the Image
Preliminaries: "Civil Theology"
Early Philosophy
Late Philosophy
The Persistence of the Pagan Image
The Biblical Prohibition
The Prohibition of the Torah
The Jewish and Muslim Interpretations
In the Image and Likeness
The Image of God: Four Church Fathers
The Image in Dispute
The Production of Christian Images
The Icon and Dogma
Iconoclasm:Pro et Contra
The Icon
Pax Romana of the Image
The Middle Ages
The Letter to Serenus
TheCarolini Libri
Bernard and Dionysius
Thomas Aquinas
The Renaissance and the Baroque Period
The Affirmation of Art and of the Artist
The Support of Ancient Gods
Around Trent
The Crescentia Affair
The Image in Celebration
Iconoclasm: The Modern Cycle
The New Theology of the Image
Three Iconoclasts
Hegel: Nostalgia for the Image
The New Theology at Work
The French Exception in the Nineteenth Century
Nineteenth-Century Religious Art
Symbolist Religiosity
The Russian Revolution
Russia's Aesthetic Education
The Spiritual: Kandinsky
The Supreme: Malevich
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226044132
ISBN-10: 0226044130
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 9th May 2001
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.88  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.73

Earn 275 Qantas Points
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