The Invisible God: The Earliest Christians on Art

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9780195113815: The Invisible God: The Earliest Christians on Art

This revisionist study challenges the received opinion that in its earliest manifestations Christianity was a form of religiosity opposed both on principle and in fact to the use of pictures. Paul Corby Finney argues that the well-known absence of Christian pictures before A.D. 200 is due to a complex interplay of social, economic, and political factors, and is not, as is commonly assumed, a result of an anti-image ideology. The book documents the origins of Christian art based on some of the oldest surviving Christian archaeological evidence, and it seeks to show how the Christian products conformed to the already-existing pagan types and models. This study will interest scholars and students in the fields of church history, ancient history, archaeology, art history, classics, and historical theology.

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'The Invisible God is an important book, a fresh and long-needed reexamination of a range of issues in early Christian art and a challenge...to a number of prevailing assumptions in the field. It deserves the attention of classicists, students of art, historians of late antiquity, and patristic scholars.'New England Classical Newsletter and Journal

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Paul Corby Finney is at University of Missouri, St. Louis.

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Finney, Paul Corby
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this paperback reprint of a book originally published in 1994, Finney refutes the traditional assumption that early Christians were opposed in principle to visual images and thus produced no art. He finds that it was primarily the Christian belief in the invisibility of God, as well as the invisibility of Christians within Roman society, that inhibited their production of images. He shows that once Christians acquired legal status and were able to own property and their places of worship, they started to produce art to decorate them. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195113815

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Paul Corby Finney
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this paperback reprint of a book originally published in 1994, Finney refutes the traditional assumption that early Christians were opposed in principle to visual images and thus produced no art. He finds that it was primarily the Christian belief in the invisibility of God, as well as the invisibility of Christians within Roman society, that inhibited their production of images. He shows that once Christians acquired legal status and were able to own property and their places of worship, they started to produce art to decorate them. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195113815

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