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Aspects Of Visual Culture: Word, Image And Religion

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Chapter Summary

There are three theological issues in illustrated religious literature: the hierarchy of the senses, the role of emotions, and the ways in which God could or could not be represented in the arts. This chapter outlines these issues, drawing on a number of key texts published in the Dutch Republic in the first decades of the seventeenth century. Of the three comprehension processes distinguished by Augustine the corporal, spiritual and intellectual, Teellinck singled out the intellectual activities as the most important. Calvin specifically argued that God taught, as testified by the cry of Jesus on the cross to include emotions in one's experience of faith. From this brief overview of the theological positions on the word-image issue and their implications for the act of religious reading in the Republic, the chapter concludes that the visual culture in which Dutch authors worked granted some opportunity to use imagery in religious works.

Keywords: Augustine; Calvinist theology; Catholic imagery; Dutch Republic; God's word; Jesus; Teellinck; visual culture



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