9780226044132

The Forbidden Image: An Intellectual History of Iconoclasm

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780226044132

  • ISBN10:

    0226044130

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2001-05-07
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Summary

Philosophers and theologians have long engaged in intense debate and introspection over the representation of the deity, its possibilities and its proscriptions.The Forbidden Imagetraces the dual strains of "iconophilia" and iconoclasm, the privileging and prohibition of religious images, over a span of two and a half millennia in the West. Alain Besancon'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 European Christianity from the medieval through the early modern periods. Besancon completesThe Forbidden Imagewith an examination of how iconophilia and iconoclasm have been debated in the modern period. "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

Author Biography

Alain Besançon is the director of studies at L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. A specialist in Russian politics and intellectual history, he has written a number of books, including Anatomie d'un spectre and Les Origines intellectualles du léninisme.

Jane Marie Todd is a translator whose works include Largessse by Jean Starobinski and Converations with Picasso by Brassaï, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1(10)
Part One Iconoclasm: The Ancient Cycle 11(136)
The Philosophical Critique of the Image
13(50)
Preliminaries: ``Civil Theology''
13(5)
Early Philosophy
18(24)
Late Philosophy
42(10)
The Persistence of the Pagan Image
52(11)
The Biblical Prohibition
63(46)
The Prohibition of the Torah
63(10)
The Jewish and Muslim Interpretations
73(8)
In the Image and Likeness
81(5)
The Image of God: Four Church Fathers
86(23)
The Image in Dispute
109(38)
The Production of Christian Images
109(6)
The Icon and Dogma
115(8)
Iconoclasm: Pro et Contra
123(8)
The Icon
131(16)
Part Two Pax Romana of the Image 147(36)
The Middle Ages
149(16)
The Letter to Serenus
149(2)
The Carolini Libri
151(1)
Relics
152(1)
Bernard and Dionysius
153(2)
Bonaventura
155(3)
Thomas Aquinas
158(7)
The Renaissance and the Baroque Period
165(18)
The Affirmation of Art and of the Artist
165(3)
The Support of Ancient Gods
168(4)
Around Trent
172(2)
The Crescentia Affair
174(3)
The Image in Celebration
177(6)
Part Three Iconoclasm: The Modern Cycle 183(190)
The New Theology of the Image
185(42)
Three Iconoclasts
185(18)
Hegel: Nostalgia for the Image
203(24)
The New Theology at Work
227(92)
The French Exception in the Nineteenth Century
227(31)
Nineteenth-Century Religious Art
258(36)
Symbolist Religiosity
294(25)
The Russian Revolution
319(54)
Russia's Aesthetic Education
319(11)
The Spiritual: Kandinsky
330(27)
The Supreme: Malevich
357(16)
Postscript 373(5)
Conclusion 378(5)
Notes 383(26)
Index 409

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