Masterclass Religions and the Image Question with Birgit Meyer

20 May 2019

Date: 20-27 May 2019

Apply Before: 1 March 2019

Religion arguably involves an awareness of a professed unseen that is taken to be existent and yet requires special forms to become manifest to common human sensation. While images are particularly powerful media to achieve this manifestation because they ‘promise’ to evoke the represented and render it present, their use for imagining and representing the unseen may be heavily contested, and even dismissed as idolatry. This masterclass will address negotiations and contestations of the legitimacy of using images within religious traditions and dominant secular politics of representation. Particular attention will be paid to Catholicism, with Rome being the venue par excellence to study interfaces between religion and art in concrete settings.

The overall aim of the masterclass is to gain a deeper understanding of past and present attitudes towards images in Christianity - and to some extent Judaism and Islam – and to develop competence in analysing how the image question plays out on multiple levels in current modern societies and in the past. We will work through grounded case studies, which also involve various site visits to museums and churches with religious art in Rome.

The Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome invites applications for this Masterclass from (R)MA students, PhD candidates and early career academics from all disciplines and provenance.

Teaching staff

Birgit Meyer (UU)

Annalisa Butticci (UU)

David Morgan (Duke)

Pooyan Tamimi Arab (UU)

Jojada Verrips (UvA) 

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