Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xiv

I would like to express my gratitude to several colleagues who answered queries, recommended literature, provided imagery, and occasionally read drafts of this book. These include Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Jeff Korum, Julie Byrne, Erika Doss, Jane Garnett, Shalom Goldman, Marc Brettler, Richard Howells, Sandy Brewer, Asonzeh Ukah, and...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-10

In the 1559 Latin edition of his monumental Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin excoriated humanity’s inclination to substitute its conceptions of deity for the true God. Human ingenuity, he said, was a “perpetual forge of idols” (idolorum fabricam).¹ The phrase recalls the biblical tradition of denouncing the production of idols from wood and...

Part I: Word and Image

read more

1. The Shape of the Holy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-41

Protestants and Catholics have long been obsessed with their origins. There is something powerful about claiming that one’s faith descends directly from the life of Jesus. Holding to the truth thus means tracing one’s practices and beliefs to the true beginning. Protestants have commonly imagined that their faith is grounded in an epochal return to...

read more

2. The Visible Word

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 42-68

It is often said that Protestantism has no place for images. In fact, Protestants have virtually always made use of images in one way or another. Yet the view persists that Protestantism is aniconic. This probably depends on several things. One may be the tendency among many Protestant groups to avoid imagery in worship settings, though rarely in the home...

Part II: The Traffic of Images

read more

3. Religion As Sacred Economy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 71-104

In the previous two chapters we had occasion to refer in several instances to the different sacred economies of Catholicism and Protestantism, without however exploring in any detail what this might mean. We now are in the position to do so, with the aim that each tradition may be described in terms of spiritual transactions conducted in material forms...

read more

4. The Agency of Words

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 105-134

Ask many Protestants what their religion is about and you are likely to hear something about “God’s word”: doing God’s word, hearing God’s word, studying God’s word, sharing God’s word, living God’s word. To be sure, Evangelicals are more inclined to speak this way than are members of the Anglican community or the Quakers. But reading the Bible...

read more

5. Christianity and Nationhood

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 135-167

In his epic poem Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (1804–22), William Blake envisioned a complex and many-layered allegory of primeval humanity and the struggles that animate human nature, all taking place on the shores of the Thames. The story concerns the fate of Albion, the ancient name for England and the name of primordial...

read more

6. The Likeness of Jesus

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 168-195

The argument of this book has been that modern Christianity, sometimes reduced to an intellectual state of mind or volition, can be described in terms of visual practices that unfold on, outside of, and within the body. For instance, we saw a picture of Saint Francis in chapter 1 conforming the gesture of his body to that of the crucified Jesus (see...

read more

7. Modern Art and Christianity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 196-224

It may seem odd to end a book about the history of modern Christianity with a chapter on fine art—even a book that accords the center of attention to images and visual practices. But the history of modern art in Europe and North America as well as far beyond turns out to have a great deal to do with religion, and particularly Christianity. Christianity...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 225-232

From the sixteenth century to the first half of the twentieth, the Catholic tradition—by which I have meant both the official hierarchy of the church and the laity—has consistently regarded the holy as seen and felt, that is, as a material continuity between this world and the other, which is very close, looming within earshot, a mere step away. The next world is...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-276

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 277-290

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 291-297

Image Plates

pdf iconDownload PDF