Heritage or Heresy: Preservation and Destruction of Religious Art and Architecture in Europe / Edition 1

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Heritage or Heresy takes a fresh look at the concept of cultural heritage and reminds us why it matters. Schildgen delves deep into the manifestation of iconoclasm in local and national movements and takes into account the role of memory and regret in the destruction or preservation of the architectural, artistic, and historic legacy of Europe. After a close inspection, she argues that the idea of secularism and mutual tolerance born in the Enlightenment provided the basis for the modern commitment that regards all natural and cultural patrimony as the shared heritage of all humanity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Reading Schildgen's new book is a remarkable experience. She takes us from the toppling of the statue of Saddam in modern day Iraq and the destruction of the Valley of the Buddhas in Afghanistan, to Reformation England and medieval Byzantium, from UNESCO to the Bible, demonstrating how complicated and conflicted our instincts are to preserve or to destroy the symbols of our built environment.”— John M. Ganim, President, New Chaucer Society and Professor of English, University of California, Riverside

“This is in so many ways a monumental undertaking—quite literally about monuments, of course, but also massive in its intellectual and historical reach as well as in its implications. She looks at iconoclasm in a variety of its manifestations—from medieval Byzantium, to seventeenth-century Protestant "Reformations", to late eighteenth-century French revolutionary atheism, to twentieth-century Stalinist purges of Russian orthodoxy. Schildgen brings this historical swing between destruction and preservation up to date with our contemporary scene.”— Peter Hawkins, Professor of Religion, Boston University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230603295
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/24/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda Deen Schildgen is Professor and Director of the Comparative Literature Program, University of California, Davis. She is the author of Dante and the Orient, the co-editor (with Gang Zhou and Sander Gilman) of Other Renaissances, and Power and Prejudice: The Reception of the Gospel of Mark, which won a Choice Best Book award in 1999.

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Table of Contents

Destruction and Preservation: Continuities and Discontinuities
• Destruction: Idolatry
• Destruction: Iconoclasm and Destruction in Northern Europe
• In Defense of Images: Christian Church and Religious Art
• From Local Culture to World Heritage: Cãrdoba Mosque/Cathedral * York Minster: From Local to National Preservation
• Making the French Nation: Liberating France, Abba Gragoire, and the Patrimony of the Middle Ages
• Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris
• The Turban to National Heritage: Nineteenth-Century Europe and Restoration Conclusion Memory, Regret, and History * What is Cultural Heritage and Why does it Matter?

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