The Power of Pictures in Christian Thought

The Use and Abuse of Images in the Bible and Theology
SPCK (Verlag)
  • erschienen am 15. November 2018
  • |
  • 272 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-0-281-07887-5 (ISBN)

Part One considers key philosophical and aesthetic evaluations of literary images and symbols. The power of pictures is widely appreciated, as in the adage 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Sometimes Christian discourse can be smothered by endless prose, which demands much inferential reasoning. There is, however, a contrary argument. An isolated visual representation can be misleading if it is improperly interpreted. For example, some mystical visions are interpreted as direct instructions from the Holy Spirit, as happened with the Radical Reformers, who advocated the Peasants' Revolt. Hence theories of symbol, metaphor, and visual representation must be examined

Part Two discusses visual representation in the Old Testament, the teaching of Jesus, pictures and analogies in Paul, and the Book of Revelation. This shows the range of authentic visual representations. In contrast to biblical material, we find throughout Christian history abundant examples of misleading imagery which is often passed off as Christian. A notorious example is found in the visual representation and metaphors used by Gnostic writers. Almost as bad are some visual representations used by the medieval mystics, Radical Reformers, and extreme charismatics - all of which lack valid criteria of interpretation, relying instead on subjective conviction. Similarly, sermons and prayers today can be enriched with pictorial images, but some can be misleading and unhelpful for the life of the Church.

  • Englisch
  • La Vergne
  • |
  • USA
  • 0,44 MB
978-0-281-07887-5 (9780281078875)
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Anthony C. Thiselton is Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology at the University of Nottingham. His recent publications include Approaching Philosophy of Religion (2017), Discovering Romans (2016), Systematic Theology (2015), The SPCK Dictionary of Theology and Hermeneutics (2015), and The Holy Spirit (2013), all published by SPCK.

  • Intro
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • About the author
  • List of abbreviations
  • Part 1: Philosophical, Hermeneutical and Literary
  • 1. The power of pictures, visual images and symbols
  • One picture is worth a thousand words
  • Visual representation from Plato to Descartes and today
  • Pictures, symbols and archetypes: emotions and participation
  • 2. The seduction of pictures and images under certain conditions
  • Negative reactions to 'the picture theory of language'
  • The debate about aspects or 'points of view' in hermeneutics
  • The captivating power of pictures when seen as 'part of our language'
  • 3. Pictures, metaphors and symbols
  • Types of metaphors: ornamental, creative and interactive
  • Negative theories of metaphor: Nietzsche and Derrida
  • The cognitive power and extra-linguistic reference of metaphors: Ricoeur and Soskice
  • 4. Interpreting pictures and visual images
  • System as an interpretative frame
  • Tradition and texts as interpretative frames
  • Convention as an interpretative frame: popular notions
  • Part 2: Biblical Pictures, Symbols and Images
  • 5. Visual pictures and symbolic acts in the Old Testament
  • The development of symbols and symbolic acts in the Old Testament
  • Symbols for God: God's character and actions, and the covenant
  • Symbolic visual representation and symbolic animals and plants
  • 6. Pictures and images in the teaching of Jesus
  • Everyday rural Galilean life: the power of Jesus' vivid visual imagery
  • Truth-claims of the parables of Jesus and their varied interpretations
  • The parables as poetic metaphor: Wilder, Funk, Crossan, Via and others
  • 7. Pictures and analogies in the earlier letters of Paul: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians and 1 Corinthians
  • Paul's earliest epistle: 1 Thessalonians
  • The Epistle to the Galatians
  • 1 Corinthians: Paul's most plentiful examples
  • 8. The later letters of Paul: from 2 Corinthians to the Pastoral Epistles
  • Paul's metaphors in 2 Corinthians and Romans
  • Analogies in Philippians, Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians
  • Pictures and images in the Pastoral Epistles
  • 9. Pictures, symbols and images in the book of Revelation
  • Pictures and images in Revelation: their varied interpretation
  • The theocentric character of the pictures and images of Revelation
  • Pictures and images in the remainder of Revelation
  • Part 3: Communication in History and Today
  • 10. Pictures and symbols in post-biblical sources and Christian communication today
  • Pictures and symbols in some Church Fathers and in Gnostic writings
  • Twelve mediaeval and post-mediaeval mystics, and claims about visions in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements today
  • The need for, and danger of, visual communication in the Church today
  • Bibliography
  • Index of principal biblical references
  • Index of names
  • Index of subjects

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