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Leuven University Press
Fluid Flesh: The Body, Religion, and the Visual Arts / Edition 1

Fluid Flesh: The Body, Religion, and the Visual Arts / Edition 1

by Barbara Baert, James Elkins


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Fluid Flesh: The Body, Religion, and the Visual Arts / Edition 1

How do we relate the body we have and the bodies we see to the mind, or to the soul? Fluid Flesh addresses the relationship between the body, religion, and the visual arts, which is one of both love and tension. Are we able (and allowed) to think of the divine in a corporeal way? Isn't artistic expression, which originated from both the human mind and body, intrinsically a bodily matter? Featuring an introduction from James Elkins, Fluid Flesh covers an array of topics including the visual as a spiritual medium today; iconophilia and iconoclasm in the past and present; the human body, religion and contemporary lifestyles; and premodern and postmodern perspectives on anatomy and the visual arts. Several authors address the presentation of the human form in Christian art and ask whether the body may be present in religious art even without figuration. The authors highlight the intertwined and powerful roles of both the image and the body within a contemporary culture that has seemingly devalued language (in favor of the image) and has renewed a "sinful" conception of the body as in constant need of improvement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789058677167
Publisher: Leuven University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2009
Series: Lieven Gevaert Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface Barbara Baert Hilde Van Gelder vii

Introduction: Liquid Thoughts on the Body and Religion James Elkins ix

Part 1 The Visual as a Spiritual Medium Today

1 When the Body Speaks Louder than Words: The Image of the Body as a Figure of the Unknown Jan Koenot 3

2 The Space, the Wound, the Body, and the (Im)possibility of Religious Art Jan De Maeyer 25

Part 2 Iconophilia / Iconoclasm: Pro-Body / Anti-Body

3 Icon of God: Is Christian Art Possible Without the Figure? Diane Apostolos-Cappadona 35

4 Body as Image, Image as Body: The Christian Roots of an Anthropology of Art Ralph Dekoninck 57

Part 3 The Human Body, Religion and Contemporary Lifestyles

5 Cult, Culture and Ambivalence: Images and Imaginations of the Body in Christian Traditions and Contemporary Lifestyles Regina Ammicht-Quinn 67

6 Women Figured in (Post-)Christianity and in Today's Feminine Spirituality Renaat Devisch 83

Part 4 Premodern and Postmodern Perspectives on Anatomy and the Visual Arts

7 Cynical Vanity or Fons Vitae: Anatomical Relics in Premodern and Contemporary Art Catrien Santing 89

8 The Missing Sex: Absence and Presence of a Female Body Part in the Visual Arts Ann-Sophie Lehmann 107

Notes on the Authors 123

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