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Voracious Idols and Violent Hands

Voracious Idols and Violent Hands
Iconoclasm in Reformation Zurich, Strasbourg, and Basel

  • Date Published: September 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521663434

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About the Authors
  • This is an effort to recover the participation of ordinary Christians in the enterprise of Reformation through an exploration of the meaning of acts of iconoclasm: what they tell us about the role of images in Christianity and about ordinary people's theologies. Its focus, on ordinary Christians, distinguishes it from other studies of Reformation iconoclasm. Its concern, to recover their agency in Reformation and to discern their theology in acts, may be of interest to scholars in American history, anthropology, and religious studies.

    • New methods of discovering the meaning of acts of ordinary people; argues that those acts express theology
    • Provides an extended description of the meaning of images in Christianity
    • Now in paperback
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Wandel's book is thus remarkable for its ability to relate popular forms of devotion to those of the learned and the upper classes, drawing for this purpose insights from other disciplines, notably the thick description and gift theory of anthropology. She makes iconoclasm, usually treated essentially in isolation, into a central manifestation of the Reformation as a religious movement." William J. Bouwsma, Journal of Modern History

    "...Wandel has written a stimulating study of early iconoclasm. He attempt to understand the mind-set of the laity through their actions is thought-provoking, and her thesis that for the newly evangelical laity, images no longer signified God's "presence" in the world merits further discussion." Amy Nelson Burnett, Sixteenth Century Journal

    "Lee Wandel, who teaches at Yale University, writes learnedly on how the iconoclasts were moving concepts of God and Christian holiness beyond original Protestant formulations in Luther and Calvin toward a more spiritual, less bodily, ideal of the Christian life." Mark Noll, Books and Culture

    "This is sound scholarship, based on fresh archival research and wide reading in secondary scholarship. It is elegantly written, well argued, and richly documented....Sixteenth-century Protestants and Catholics knew that iconoclasm was not simply a byproduct of the Reformation, or a violent spasm, but its very essence. With this book, Lee Wandel has brought us one step closer to recovering this once-lost perspective." The Catholic Historical Review

    "Wandel's book is thus remarkable for its ability to relate popular forms of devotion to those of the learned and the upper classes, drawing for this purpose insights from other disciplines, notably the thick description and gift theory of anthropology. At the same time Wandel is thoroughly at home with the earlier history of images, tracing their understanding from Gregory the Great and John of Damascus through Bernard, Aquinas, and Bonaventura. She makes iconoclasm, usually treated essentially in isolation, into a central manifestation of the Reformation as a religious movement." the Journal of Modern History

    "Wandel has written a thoughtful and provactive book. She has exposed teh potential of micro-historical analyses to bring all the participants into our understanding of the early Reformation." Central European History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521663434
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. The images in the churches
    2. Zurich
    3. Strasbourg
    4. Basel
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Lee Palmer Wandel, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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