Nature and Idolatry

Henry Maguire

in Nectar and Illusion

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199766604
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950386 | DOI:

Series: Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture

Nature and Idolatry

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In this chapter the role of the iconoclastic controversy as a watershed between the early Byzantine and the medieval Byzantine period is explored. During the iconoclastic crisis, both the supporters and the opponents of images of Christ and the saints accused the other side of “worshipping the creature rather than the Creator.” This secondary debate – the debate over the portrayal of living things other than human beings – has received relatively little attention from scholars in comparison to the dispute over the sacred icons. Nevertheless, it was a debate that had a profound effect on the subsequent decoration of Byzantine churches, and, like the debate over icons proper, its roots reached back into the early Byzantine period.

Keywords: iconoclastic controversy; icons; medieval Byzantine period; churches

Chapter.  12782 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient and Classical Art (to 500 CE)

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