Saturday, 7 February 2015

Jennifer Freeman: SC: A Productive Problem: Anthropomorphic Images of the Trinity in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Imaging the triune God has been a “productive problem” in the Christian Church since its very origins, generating a multitude of diverse visual “solutions” from the symbolic to the anthropomorphic. This paper examines Early Christian anthropomorphic depictions of the Trinity (as found, for example, in the Dogmatic Sarcophagus and the nave mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore) in their iconographic and theological contexts, such as the conflicts posed by Arianism in the fourth century and the Three Chapters Controversy in the sixth century. This paper then considers the subsequent dearth of such images in Western Europe, which lasted up until the twelfth century. Scholarship on Trinitarian iconography tends to focus on either late antique or late medieval examples; this paper attempts to connect these two periods through its account of the interim lacuna and suggests theological motivations for the presence and subsequent absence of this iconographic theme.

No comments:

Post a Comment