By J. M. F. Heath

This e-book is on the interface among visible experiences and bible study. For a number of many years, students of visuality were uncovering the importance of daily visible practices, within the experience of learnt conduct of viewing and the assumptions that underpin them. they've got proven that those play a key function in forming and keeping relationships in spiritual devotion and in social existence. The "Visual Studies" circulate introduced matters similar to those to the eye of so much humanities disciplines by means of the top of the 20 th century, yet until eventually very lately made little influence on bible study. the reason for this "disciplinary blind-spot" lies in part within the reception of St Paul, who grew to become Augustine's notion for platonising denigration of the fabric international, and Luther's for religion via "scripture alone." within the arms of extra radical Reformers, the note was once quickly vehemently against the picture, an emphasis that used to be extra fostered within the philologically-inclined college colleges the place bible study developed.
Yet Paul's piety is visible in addition to verbal, even apart from his mystical visions. He envisages a contemplative concentrate on convinced this-worldly attractions as an essential component of believers' metamorphosis into Christ-likeness. This subject matter runs via Romans, yet reveals its such a lot concise expression in his correspondence with the Corinthians: "We all, with unveiled face, beholding in a replicate the respect of the Lord, are being metamorphosed into an analogous photo, from glory to glory, as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Cor 3:18). Richly ambiguous and allegorical as this is often, Paul almost immediately in a while defines a secular website the place this transformative, sacred gaze happens. He insists that now not mere demise, however the dying of Jesus is 'made manifest' in his soreness apostolic flesh. Rightly perceived, this turns into a holy spectacle for the sacred gaze, operating lifestyles in those that behold in religion, yet undoing those that see yet don't perceive.

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35 Cummings 2002b: 30–8. 36 Cummings 2002b: 39–40. 37 Cummings 2002a: 185–6. 38 Koerner 2004: 304; Christman 2008: 262–77. 39 Belting 1994: 467–8; Koerner 2004: 289–303. A Disciplinary Blind Spot and its Origins 23 Fig. 5. Text-altarpiece from the Spitalkirche, Dinkstabühl, showing the Ten Commandments (outer panels) and the Institution of the Eucharist (centre). Courtesy of Constantin Beyer. 40 In general, he appears to have been moderate and to have encouraged the use of images in certain ways, albeit giving primary emphasis to the Word.

The case of 2 Cor 5:7 is more significant: it is perhaps the most egregious instance of misleadingly Platonizing interpretation of Paul. The verse reads: äØa ðßóôåøò ªaæ ðåæØðÆôïFìåí, ïP äØa åYäïıò (2 Cor 5:7). 17 Most commentators on 2 Corinthians 5:7 are well aware that there is no extant, independent attestation of år äïò meaning ‘sight’: it means a ‘form’ which is seen, not the faculty of seeing;18 however, this insight has had little effect on the vernacular versions. Their contrast between faith and sight covers up the exegetical difficulty of the verse, which lies in determining what Paul means by saying that we live ‘not by means of [a] form / outward appearance’.

90 Notwithstanding such signs of change, however, visual art continued to be a significant part of Protestant life. Like Catholics, the Protestants needed to convey their teaching to the illiterate masses. 93 In the 18th century the Christian ideal gave ground to the Classical for many connoisseurs of art, but the religious value accorded to art did not disappear. 94 87 Belting 1994: 458. Belting 1994: 458. 89 Elkins 2004: 7–8, cf. Koerner 2004: 27–37; Squire 2009: 15–89. 90 Koerner 2004: 28. 91 Scribner 1981.

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