Reformation and the Visual Arts: The Protestant Image Question in Western and Eastern Europe

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Taylor & Francis, Nov 1, 2002 - History - 256 pages
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Available for the first time in English," The Reformation and the Visual Arts" provides a unique overview of religious images and iconoclasm from the time of Byzantium through the Reformation to the Eastern Orthodox churches. Sergiusz Michalski argues that not all Protestants espoused iconoclasm and that, in fact, the question of images played a large role in the ensuing divisions of European Protestantism. The positions of the major Protestant reformers--Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Karlstadt--on the legitimacy of religious paintings are analyzed and the author investigates iconoclasm both as a form of religious and political protest and as a complex set of mock-revolutionary rites and denigration rituals.
Covering both Western and Eastern Europe, "The Reformation and the Visual Arts" contains entirely original research on relations between Protestant iconoclasm and the extreme icon-worship of the Eastern Orthodox churches, as well as providing a brief discussion of Eastern protestantizing iconoclast sects, particularly in Russia. Encompassing a vast geographical and chronological span, and bringing new material to light, this book reveals the peculiar mixture of theological fundamentalism and pragmatic public action which characterized the question of images.

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About the author (2002)

Sergiusz Michalski teaches art history at the University of Braunschweig, Germany. His previous books include "The Reformation and the Visual Arts" (1993) and "The New Objectivity" (1994).

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