Sixteenth Century Society and Conference
San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 24-27, 2013
The sixteenth century was marked by radical changes in conceptions about the mediative value of religious images in Western Christian culture. The complexity of the circumstances that contributed to these developments has in many ways prevented a clear understanding not only of how widely these changes reflect religious and artistic attitudes as a whole, but of the extent to which a broad range of other issues—social, scientific, philosophical, etc.—were directly involved as well. In order to provide some coherence to this issue, this panel considers how Christ’s body—in both conceptual and physical terms—emerged as a primary focus for many of the myriad concerns that contributed to early modern conceptions of religious imagery.
We seek papers that introduce new investigations into the theory, practice, and even controversy surrounding the visible representation of Christ’s living, sacrificed, sacramental, and/or resurrected body. Contributions to this panel might include, but are not limited to, examinations of how any of the following might have influenced the representation of Christ’s body during the early modern era:
-- Developments in the theological understanding of the Eucharist
-- Intersections of religious philosophies and the science of the senses
-- The emergence of new mystical traditions and devotional practices
-- Heightened concern both for decorum, in line with Counter-Reformation reaffirmations of religious images and relics, and for artistic value as a hallmark of the Renaissance
-- The use of images in propaganda for colonial expansion and religious conversion
-- Developments in scientific and theological explorations of the natural world and supernatural phenomena
-- Advancements in medical or anatomical knowledge of the body and its pathologies
-- The perpetuation of miracles associated with images and relics of Christ’s Passion
We are equally interested in papers that address new ideas surrounding reform thought or outright prohibitions against picturing Christ in visible forms. In all cases contributions must have the visible representation of Christ—artistic or otherwise—as their central focus.
The organizers of this panel, Andrew Casper (Miami University) and Pamela Stewart (University of Michigan), invite abstracts from scholars and graduate students who are willing and able to present their work at the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico from October 24-27, 2013. Please send abstracts (maximum 250 words) and a brief narrative CV by March 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew R. Casper (Department of Art, Miami University)
Pamela A.V. Stewart (Department of the History of Art, The University of Michigan) Email: email@example.com
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