"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tradition and Transformation in Christian Iconography

This August will see the advent of a book by a scholar whose previous work on iconography, Icons in Time, Persons in Eternity: Orthodox Theology and the Aesthetics of the Christian Image, remains one of the most intellectually challenging and wide-ranging studies to appear in decades.

If C.A. Tsakiridou's forthcoming book Tradition and Transformation in Christian Art: the Transcultural Icon (Routledge, 2018), is as good as her previous one, then we shall be fortunate indeed. I am very much looking forward to this and will have more to say after I see the book in print.

About this 240-page study, the publisher tells us this:

 Tradition and Transformation in Christian Art approaches tradition and transculturality in religious art from an Orthodox perspective that defines tradition as a dynamic field of exchanges and synergies between iconographic types and their variants. Relying on a new ontology of iconographic types, it explores one of the most significant ascetical and eschatological Christian images, the King of Glory (Man of Sorrows). This icon of the dead-living Christ originated in Byzantium, migrated west, and was promoted in the New World by Franciscan and Dominican missions. Themes include tensions between Byzantine and Latin spiritualities of penance and salvation, the participation of the body and gender in deification, and the theological plasticity of the Christian imaginary. Primitivist tendencies in Christian eschatology and modernism place avant-garde interest in New Mexican santos and Greek icons in tradition.

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