The Triumph of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation

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Overview


This is a sequel to Richard Viladesau's well-received study, The Beauty of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Catacombs to the Eve of the Renaissance. It continues his project of presenting theological history by using art as both an independent religious or theological "text" and as a means of understanding the cultural context for academic theology. Viladesau argues that art and symbolism function as alternative strands of theological expression sometimes parallel to, sometimes interwoven with, and sometimes in tension with formal theological reflection on the meaning of crucifixion and its role in salvation history.

This book examines the two great revolutionary movements that gave birth to the modern West: the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation. This period was eventful for both theology and art, and thus particularly fruitful for Viladesau's project.

Using individual works of art, over sixty of which are reproduced in this book, to epitomize particular artistic and theological models, he explores the contours of each paradigm through the works of representative theologians as well as liturgical, poetic, artistic, and musical sources. To name a few examples, the theologies of Savonarola, Luther, Calvin, and the Council of Trent, are examined in correlation to the new situation of art in the era of Fra Angelico, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Dürer, Cranach, and the Mannerists.

In this book, Viladesau continues to deepen our understanding of the foremost symbol of Christianity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In this study, Richard Viladesau traces the representation of the cross, both in painting and music, through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in both Catholic and Protestant churches. The result is at once a theological reflection on aesthetics, but also a profound study of an era which shaped the contemporary world." --Tim Gorringe, St. Luke's Professor of Theological Studies, University of Exeter

"The Triumph of the Cross brilliantly weaves together parallel developments in the non-conceptual language of the visual arts and music and the conceptual language of theology and preaching. This comparison enables Viladesau to probe in a novel and illuminating way the primal passions that animated the evolution of the understanding the person and atoning work of Christ from the late Middle Ages to the Counter-Reformation. It is a masterful exploration of the way in which the most seemingly rational theological constructs are fuelled by visceral motivations. In so doing, it situates classic theories of the atonement in a revealing new context." --Lee Barrett, Stager Professor of Theology, Lancaster Theological Seminary

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195335668
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/22/2008
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Viladesau is Professor of Theology at Fordham University and Administrator of Our Lady Star of the Sea parish, Fire Island, N.Y. He is the author of Theological Aesthetics (OUP 1999) and The Beauty of the Cross (OUP 2005), which will be released in paperback in 2008.

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