Christ the Iconoclastic Image: The Negations and Revelations of Images

“… of the image that can speak reparatively to image desires and anxieties dividing Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox from one another. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Natalie M Carnes Baylor University Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

This project argues that iconoclasm and iconophilia are not like two poles opposing one another, for certain kinds of iconoclasm are internal to iconophilia and even to imaging as such. Images in this way echo Christ, the Image of the Invisible God, who expresses a self-negation intrinsic to the success of the image. Christ is the Image who was broken, who breaks false images, and who generates new images—a claim elaborated through engaging images and image controversies related to creedal claims about who Christ is. In do doing, this project aims to advance an interdisciplinary conversation about images and to repair the divisions among Christian communions, riven in part by diverging image convictions.

I advance this argument over two church-affiliated, popular-level journal articles; an ecumenical symposium directed toward church members and academics; and a five-chapter book manuscript. The chapters are structured by a chiasm of creedal claims Christ: was born of the virgin Mary (arrival); was made human (presence); was crucified, died, and was buried (brokenness); rose again (presence); and will come again in glory (arrival). In unpacking the claims of these chapters, I dwell on a diverse set of images and controversies particularly illuminative of Christological claims, which in turn underwrite a Christian approach to images. By doing so, I hope to generate a theology of ecumenical import that offers a way forward for thinking about images generally and Christian images in particular.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
  How Love for the Image Cast out Fear of It in Early Christianity 2017 Journal Article Natalie M Carnes
Religions 2017, 8, 20
  Embracing Beauty in a World of Affliction 2017 Journal Article Natalie M Carnes
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 January 14, 2017
Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection on Iconoclasm and Iconophilia 2017 Book Natalie M Carnes