Iconoclasm and Iconoclash

Struggle for Religious Identity


This book focuses on iconoclastic controversies and, in particular, their impact on the creation of religious identities. In the history of Jewish, Christian and Muslim culture, religious identity was not only formed through historical claims, but also through the use of certain images: ‘images of God’, ‘images of the others’, and ‘images of the self.’ Moreover, in the struggle for religious identity these ‘images’ were time and again employed for the purpose of establishing distinct groups, both ortho- dox and deviant. At the same time, they supplied weapons in the theological debate and found explicit expression in certain rituals or liturgical traditions. These conference proceedings include a discussion of the role of images in society, politics, theology and liturgy, in particular addressing the ‘iconoclash’ of physical, mental and verbal images on the construction of religious identity.
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Biographical Note

Willem van Asselt is Associate Professor in Church History, Theological Faculty (Utrecht University). Paul van Geest holds the chair of Augustinian Studies at the Faculty of Catholic Theology (Tilburg University) and at the Theological Faculty of the Free University (Vrije Universiteit) Amsterdam. Daniela Müller is full Professor in Church History at the Faculty of Catholic Theology (University of Tilburg). Theo Salemink is Associate Professor in Church History at the Faculty of Catholic Theology (University of Tilburg).

Review Quote

"Der Band versammelt viele und anregende Studien unter dem weiten Titelthema. Die Sorgvalt der Beiträge und deren Zusammenstellung machen die Lektüre lohnend und entdeckungsreich. Der bildwissenschaftliche Ertrag bleibt allerdings überschaubar" – Philipp Stoellger (Rostock), in: Theologische Literaturzeitung 135 (2010)

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION PART 1: WORD AND IMAGE: FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS The Tension Between Word and Image in Christianity Willemien Otten The Dialectics of the Icon: A Reference to God? Anton Houtepen Word and Image in Christian Rituals Gerard Rouwhorst Seeing the Divine: a Holy Controversy Alexander Even-Chen Our Image of ‘Others’ and Our Own Identity Daniela Müller Idolatry and the Mirror: Iconoclasm as a Prerequisite for Interhuman Relations Marcel Poorthuis PART II: JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN DEBATES ON IMAGES UNTIL THE REFORMATION Biblical Controversy: A Clash Between Two Divinely Inspired Messages? Shulamit Laderman Anthropomorphism and its Eradication Shamma Friedman Augustine’s Thoughts on How God May Be Represented Paul van Geest The Saint as Icon: Transformation of Biblical Imagery in Early Medieval Hagiography Nienke Vos ‘Erant enim sine deo uero’. Iconoclash in Apocryphal and Liturgical Apostle Traditions of the Medieval West Els Rose Tangible Words: Some Reflections on the Notion of Presence in Gothic Art Babette Hellemans Cathars and the Representation of the Divine: Christians of the Invisible Anne Brenon The Clash Between Catholics and Cathars over Veneration of the Cross Beverly Kienzle Poor Building: The Case of the Friars Minor Gerard Pieter Freeman PART III: PROTESTANT REFORMATION AND CATHOLIC REFORMATION The Prohibition of Images and Protestant Identity Willem van Asselt Aspects of Iconoclasm in Utrecht – Today and in the Past Casper Staal The Alphen Pig War Jo Spaans Papal Prohibitions Midway Between Rigor and Laxity.On the Issue of Depicting the Holy Trinity Jan Hallebeek PART IV: MODERN TIMES The Politics of Representation: Prussian Monarchy and Roman Catholic Church in the Making of Saints During the 19th Century Angela Berlis Christ, Art and the Nation. The Berlin ‘Christ Exhibition’ of 1896 and the Search for a Protestant Identity in Wilhelminian Germany Christopher König The Written Icon Images of God in Modern Dutch Literature Jaap Goedegebuure The New Iconoclasm. The Avant-garde and the Catholic Church Theo Salemink Vandalism as a Secular Iconoclasm Alexander Demandt


All those interested in the History of Images