The Beauty of the Cross
The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Catacombs to the Eve of the Renaissance
By (author) Richard Viladesau
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Beauty of the Cross by Richard Viladesau
Book DescriptionFrom the earliest period of its existence, Christianity has been recognized as the "religion of the cross." Some of the great monuments of Western art are representations of the brutal torture and execution of Christ. Despite the horror of crucifixion, we often find such images beautiful. The beauty of the cross expresses the central paradox of Christian faith: the cross of Christ's execution is the symbol of God's victory over death and sin. The cross as an aesthetic object and as a means of devotion corresponds to the mystery of God's wisdom and power manifest in suffering and apparent failure. In this volume, Richard Viladesau seeks to understand the beauty of the cross as it developed in both theology and art from their beginnings until the eve of the renaissance. He argues that art and symbolism functioned as an alternative strand of theological expression -- sometimes parallel to, sometimes interwoven with, and sometimes in tension with formal theological reflection on the meaning of the Crucifixion and its role insalvation history. Using specific works of art to epitomize particular artistic and theological paradigms, Viladesau then explores the contours of each paradigm through the works of representative theologians as well as liturgical, poetic, artistic, and musical sources. The beauty of the cross is examined from Patristic theology and the earliest representations of the Logos on the cross, to the monastic theology of victory and the Romanesque crucified "majesty," to the Anselmian "revolution" that centered theological and artistic attention on the suffering humanity of Jesus, and finally to the breakdown of the high scholastic theology of the redemption in empirically concentrated nominalism and the beginnings of naturalism in art. By examining the relationship between aesthetic and conceptual theology, Viladesau deepens our understanding of the foremost symbol of Christianity. This volume makes an important contribution to an emerging field, breaking new ground in theological aesthetics. The Beauty of the Cross is a valuable resource for scholars, students, and anyone interested in the passion of Christ and its representation.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195367119
(235mm x 155mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 17-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Richard Viladesau
Pathos of the Cross, Hardback (April 2014)
This volume traces how theologies and the arts of the Baroque period stressed the "pathos" of Christ's death on the cross as the means of salvation, and invited believers to an emotional response that binds them to Christ's saving act.
Theological Aesthetics, Paperback (January 2013)
Richard Viladesau explores the role of aesthetic experience in our perception and understanding of the holy.
Triumph of the Cross, Hardback (May 2008)
This is a sequel to Richard Viladesau's well-received study, The Beauty of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Catacombs to the Eve of the Renaissance (2006). It continues his project of presenting theological history by using art as both an independant religious or theological 'text' and as a means of understanding the cultural context for academic theology.
Beauty of the Cross, Hardback (December 2005)» View all books by Richard Viladesau
Seeking to understand the beauty of the cross as it developed in theology and art from the early Christian era through the Middle Ages, the author argues that art and symbolism functioned as an alternative strand of theological expression-sometimes parallel to, sometimes interwoven with, and sometimes in tension with formal theological reflection.
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