Visual Studies in Byzantium. A pictorial turn avant la lettre

Item Type Journal paper

As Hegel once said, in Byzantium, between homoousis and homoiousis, the difference of one letter could decide the life and death of thousands. As this article seeks to argue, Byzantine thinking was not only attentive to conceptual differences, but also to iconic ones. The iconoclastic controversy (726-842 AD) arose from two different interpretations of the nature of images: whereas iconoclastic philosophy is based on the assumption of a fundamental ‘iconic identity', iconophile philosophy defends the idea of ‘iconic difference'. And while the reception in the Latin West of the controversies over the image as a mere problem of referentiality of the letter explains why its originality has remained underestimated for centuries, reexamining Byzantine visual thinking in the light of today's ‘pictorial turn' reveals its striking modernity.

Authors Alloa, Emmanuel
Journal or Publication Title Journal of Visual Culture
Language English
Keywords Byzantium, Hegel, icon, iconic difference, iconoclasm, idolatry, John of Damascus, pictorial turn, Theodore studites
Subjects cultural studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)
Refereed Yes
Date 7 April 2013
Publisher Sage Publishing
Place of Publication London
Volume 12
Number 1
Page Range 3-29
Number of Pages 27
ISSN 1470-4129
ISSN-Digital 1741-2994
Publisher DOI 10.1177/1470412912468704
Depositing User Dr. Emmanuel Alloa
Date Deposited 07 Apr 2013 11:50
Last Modified 23 Aug 2016 11:16


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Alloa, Emmanuel (2013) Visual Studies in Byzantium. A pictorial turn avant la lettre. Journal of Visual Culture, 12 (1). 3-29. ISSN 1470-4129

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