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: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

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 Group
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Seminar oral performance: presentations and discussion
N/A 10 A
University - closed examination
Image & Icon: Representing the Sacred in the Early Medieval World
2 hours 90 A
Essay/coursework
3,000 word Assessed Essay
N/A 90 B
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Seminar oral performance: presentations and discussion
N/A 10 B

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

In the tables given here, Group A tasks are assessed when the module is taught in the Autumn term, and Group B tasks are assessed when the module is taught in the Spring term.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark Group
University - closed examination
Image & Icon: Representing the Sacred in the Early Medieval World
2 hours 90 A
Essay/coursework
3,000 word Assessed Essay
N/A 90 B

Module feedback

Feedback on formative essay within one week.

Feedback on summative exams within six weeks.

Indicative reading

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

K. Weitzmann, The Monastery of St Catherine at Mount Sinai: the icons (Princeton, 1976)

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

G. R. Hawting, The Idea of Idolatry and the emergence of Islam (Cambridge, 1999)



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.