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Image & Icon: Representing the Sacred in the Early Medieval World - HOA00010I

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Jane Hawkes
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2018-19

Module summary

This module will explore the various ways in which it was deemed possible – or impossible – to present the sacred visually in late antiquity, early Christianity and early Islam

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module will explore the various ways in which it was deemed possible - or impossible - to present the sacred visually in late antiquity, early Christianity and early Islam - cultures that had varied and often strongly opposing views about visual representation in sacred contexts.

It aims to give students an introduction to:

  • The ideas associated with representing the nature of the sacred.
  • The strategies invoked in various cultures to make visual the sacred.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should have an understanding of:

  • The traditional views of the art historian relating to icons.
  • Early attitudes to images and the sacred.
  • The status of icons in early religious cultures.
  • The various ways in which icons can be constructed.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay : Image & Icon: Representing the Sacred in the Early Medieval World
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay : Image & Icon: Representing the Sacred in the Early Medieval World
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on formative assessment within one week.

Feedback on summative assessment within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

The one book that will be fundamental to the module is:

 H. Belting: Likeness and Presence: The History of the Image Before the Era of Art (Chicago, 1994)

 Other publications of interest might include:

 CD-ROM: Images of Salvation: The Story of the Bible Through Medieval Art (York, 2004), in the JBM but also available for purchase at student rate through the Christianity and Culture Project (Berwick Saul Building; http://www.christianityandculture.org.uk/ )

 J. Elsner, Imperial Rome and Christian Triumph (Oxford, 1998)

 J. Lowden, Early Christian and Byzantine Art (London, 1997)

 L. Rodley, Byzantine Art and Architecture: an Introduction (Cambridge, 1994)

 E. Ferguson (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 2 vols (N.Y., 1997)

 P. Murray & L. Murray (eds), The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture (Oxford, 1996)

 L. Ouspensky, Theology of the Icon (Crestwood, N.Y., 1992)

 O. Grabar, The Formation of Islamic Art (Yale, 1973/1987)

 R. Ettinghausen & O. Grabar, The Art and Architecture of Islam, 650-1250 (Harmondsworth, 1987)

 



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.