Image, Icon, Economy: The Byzantine Origins of the Contemporary Imaginary
The barest awareness of the ubiquity and influence of the media today provides proof enough that our fate is in the hands of the image. But when and how was this fate sealed? Image, Icon, Economy considers this question and recounts an essential thread in the conceptualization of visual images within the Western tradition. This book argues that the extraordinary force of the image in contemporary life--the contemporary imaginary--can be traced back to the Byzantine iconoclastic controversy of the eighth and ninth centuries. It was during this period that the church was compelled to produce an account of the theological status of the religious image that would nevertheless not be open to even the slightest suspicion of idolatry. The solution arrived at was the dual doctrine of the image, invisible (and thus beyond the charge of idolatry) and the icon, visible, and thus perfectly fitted to be placed at the center of a pedagogical and political strategy serving the temporal power of the church. The foundations of this immense philosophical enterprise were laid in no less than the multifarious, interwoven strands of the divine economy, God's overall plan for the salvation of humanity.
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acheiropoietic akribeia Antirrhetics appears archetype artificial image Athanasios Basil Basil of Caesarea become body Byzantine cause cerning Christ Christian Chrysostom church fathers concept concerns Constantine constitutes consubstantiality cross definition diabolical discourse divine ecclesiastic effect emperor enigma essence eucharist everything face faith flesh function gaze grace graph Greek hagion hiera hieron Holy Spirit homonymy honor human hypostasis Ibid iconic economy iconoclast iconoclastic crisis iconophile idol idolaters idolatry imaginary imitation incarnation inscription institution invisible Jacques Derrida John Chrysostom John of Damascus kenosis linked manifestation means mimesis mimetic mystery natural image Nikephoros Nikephoros's nonwritten object oikonomia passion philosophical photography political profane prototype question redemption refers relation resemblance rhetoric sacramental sacred sacredness salvation sense shroud similitude skhesis space speak speech symbolic temporal Theodore of Stoudios things tion tradition transfiguration trinitarian Trinity true truth unity Virgin visible voice word